Middle School Read-a-Thon Clocks Over 1,000 Hours

Brian Lorenzen
Brian Lorenzen

Drum roll, please! The final tally for the Middle School Winter Break Read-a-Thon was 70,165 minutes of reading! “To put that into perspective,” said librarian Brian Lorenzen, “that’s about 1,169 hours, nearly 49 whole days, or as much time as Google tells me it would take to walk from Poly Prep to Austin, Texas and back.”

Congratulations to Kaya F. ’26, Neeka A. ’27 and Brody S. ’26, who read for a combined 21,915 minutes. “That’s an astounding 31% of the total reading done,” said Lorenzen. Eighty-two Middle School members logged reading over the Winter Break. Grade 7 was responsible for more than 43% of the reading done. “Each and every one of you are awesome readers,” Lorenzen said.

Middle School Middle School Read-a-thon January 2021 January 2021

Among the top books read were Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado (assigned reading for Grades 5 & 6), Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You: a Remix of Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (assigned reading for Grades 7 & 8), Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.

As a reward, Lorenzen continued a tradition he began last year and shared videos of himself and other faculty members getting hit in the face by a pie.

Kaya F. ’26
Kaya F. ’26

Kaya’s favorite book was Queen of Shadows by Sara J. Mass. “I love the main character’s personality,” she said. “I also loved the action scenes in Queen of Shadows. It feels good to be a top reader because it was unexpected even though I know I read a lot. I spent most of Winter Break reading and it definitely was fun and enjoyable.”

Neeka A. ’27

Neeka had two favorite books, Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, which she re-read, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. “My favorite character [in Ready Player One] was probably Art3mis also known as Samantha,” Neeka said. “I liked her a lot because she seemed very fun! If I could ask the author a question about the book, I would ask how they came up with the OASIS, and the storyline.” Next on Neeka’s reading list is Ready Player Two.

“It feels great to be a top reader!” said Neeka. “Reading did give me something fun to do [over Winter Break], but over the summer I read a good book and that book made me want another adventure.”

Brody S ’26
Brody S. ’26

“I was very pleased to be a top reader,” said Brody, “but I was very surprised that I was in the top three! I don’t really read during the day. I hang out with friends or watch shows, but I do a lot of reading at night. I am kind of a night owl so I read about 1-3 hours each day when there is no school. So mostly I read when I can and it’s fun but since I don’t read much during the day it is only entertaining at night.” 

Alia M. ’27
Alia M. ’27

Among the other leading readers was sixth grader Alia M. ’27. One of her favorite books was Catching Fire, the second book of the Hunger Games series. “My favorite character is Prim, because she’s such a supportive sister toward Katniss throughout her journey. Specifically, in the second book, Prim’s character matures and her nature starts supporting the well-being of the greater community by becoming a doctor in training for the districts.” If able to ask the author Susan Collins one question, Alia said, “I would ask Ms. Susan Collins what inspired her to create such a fantastical world, and whether she had the whole storyline in her head before she started writing, or did she come up with it along the way.” Not surprisingly, the next book Alia plans to read is Mockingjay, to finish the Hunger Games series.  

Lorenzen says although the Read-a-Thon is over, reading should go on. “The library is open for business,” he said.  “If you need a book, email us or put one on hold online and we’ll deliver it to you.”