Wylie third grader Graham McLean had quite the day today. The 8-year-old at Wylie East Elementary School spoke with local news reporter Annabelle Tuggle about reading more than 3 million words. You read that correctly – more than 3 MILLION words, and for Graham that was the easy part.
“I was really, really, nervous,” said Graham about being interviewed. However, to watch him you would think otherwise. Graham not only discussed reaching an exceptional goal, but also how he helps librarian Shyrl Martinez with tasks around the library like reshelving books and helping at the circulation desk. Observing Graham, it is evident he knows the library very well. He even has a little section in which he keeps his very favorite books.
As for the easy part – reading more than 3 million words – Graham said his teacher, Mrs. Roberts, set that goal for him at Meet the Teacher in the fall. He said she knew he had already read 2.5 million words when he was in second grade. “We just practice for the next year,” said Graham. “They really start going for higher goals and points in fourth grade.”
Mrs. Martinez said keeping enough books for Graham to read is a challenge. “He is extraordinary,” she said. Martinez said Graham comes in every few days to check out new books and that she has a difficult time to keep up with the pace at which he reads.
Sarah McLean, Graham’s mother, said Graham learned to read at the same level of his other classmates, but once “he learned, he never stopped.” She said she and her husband love to read so having a son who loves it is fun. “We have family nights when we read together,” she said.
McLean agreed with Martinez that it is hard to keep up with his pace. “We legitimately are running out of them [books],” said McLean. “He reads so fast I can’t keep up to preview the books before he reads them.” She said finding age-appropriate books for his level is a challenge.
Graham said his favorite books to read are about mysteries or adventures. “Mysteries are fun to read to figure out who did it, and adventures take you to new places.”
Catch Graham’s interview on Big Country Homepage.
By Kristen Johnson