Hooray! Punish the kid who reads so other kids don't have their feelings hurt
A New York library director has asked a little boy who loves books to quit reading so damn much because he's making the other kids look bad.
The Glen Falls Post-Star reports that Marie Gandron, director of the Hudson Falls Public Library accused 9-year-old Tyler Weaver of "hogging" the summer reading club's annual "Dig into Reading" competition, because he's taken the top prize five years in a row.
The contest requires each participating child to read at least 10 books over the course of six weeks in order to get invited to an end-of-summer party.
By comparison, Tyler won the latest event by reading 63 books in just over a month.
Over the last five contests, Tyler, an intermediate scholar student at Hudson Falls School, has "devoured" 373 books, making his mother Katie "extremely proud."
But Gandron has a different take on Tyler's bibliophilia. "Other kids quit because they can’t keep up," she told the Post-Star.
She believes Tyler should "step aside" and has even proposed a raffle-style selection of next year's winner in order to ensure the fifth grader doesn't win.
Gandron told the paper she was leery of Tyler's accomplishments because of another young girl a few years back who claimed she had read 200 books — a feat allegedly confirmed by her mother — but was discovered to be lying.
Except that Tyler has been tested by a library aide on all the books he claims to have read.
And even Gandron acknowledged that "as far as [she] knows," Tyler won fair and square.
Lita Casey, a library aide who has been at Hudson Falls for 28 years, opposes Gandron's personal vendetta against Tyler, and has phoned a library board member to complain.
According to Casey, Tyler's desire to read isn't motivated by a desire to win a silly contest, but by a precocious love of knowledge.
As a testament to Tyler’s love of reading, Casey said that a few years ago, the summer theme centered on regions of the United States. Kids were supposed to read a book on each section of the country. A few children dropped out of the program because they didn’t like the subject matter, Casey said, but Tyler read at least one book on each of the 50 states.
Meanwhile, most of the other kids are just reading the bare minimum in order to get a party invite, Casey said.
Katie said neither of her sons would participate in the reading event next year if Gandron changes the contest rules out of spite.
Casey believes it is the library that stands to lose in the end.
"We’re not going to see some of these kids until next year, and you’re worried about them (being treated equally), and then, you’ve got two kids who come in every week taking books out?," she told the Post-Star.