ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A 9-year-old Wylie East Elementary student has read over three million words in only half of a school year, something his third-grade reading teacher said she has never seen a student this age do before.
When you walk into the school’s library, you will see a lot of different children’s books, but you will also most likely see 9-year-old Graham McLean, who has read almost all of them.
This has really helped Graham in his third-grade reading class, where they are keeping track of how much each student read. His teacher, Stephanie Roberts, is encouraging students to reach one million words by the end of the school year.
“We recognize our million-word readers at the end of the year, which is a lofty goal for third graders, but Graham is already at three million words,” said Roberts. “When they read, they can understand the world around them. The world is very confusing around them if they can’t understand the words.”
Sarah McLean, Graham’s mom, shared that he usually stays up late to squeeze in a few more words.
“He stays up later than me,” McLean explained.
His family celebrated him reaching two million words by throwing a party, but they didn’t know how quickly another million would come.
“I can read 100 pages in an hour,” Graham explained.
He enjoys spending his free time at the library when he’s at school, where he has became good friends with the librarian, Shyrl Martinez.
“He comes in every morning and says, ‘I’m done. I need a new book,'” said Martinez.
Graham quickly corrected her and said, “It’s not every morning. It’s every three mornings.”
The 9-year-old has learned many things about the library since he spends so much time there, and he even helps Martinez run the circulation desk sometimes. He puts up all of the returned books, knowing exactly where they belong.
Graham will probably be staying in this library for a while, because his goal is to read five million words by the end of the school year.
“If I can find more books to read,” Graham said.
He said that he might write a book one day, but this 9-year-old dreams to become an aerospace engineer when he grows up.