Reading takes middle school student away from reality

A Wapakoneta Middle School student volunteering time this summer to work at the library hopes he may help others develop the same passion he has for reading.
Ten-year-old Noah Hetrick volunteers at the Auglaize County District Public Library in Wapakoneta two hours a week on Friday mornings. During that time, he mans the table for the young adult and children’s summer reading programs, checking reading sheets and handing out tickets for prizes.
“It’s a good thing to do,” Noah said. “It’s helping me learn about the library.
“Reading is a passion for me, an escape from the stress of the world, maybe I can help others discover that, too,” the sixth-grader said.
While other youngsters throughout the area are keeping careful track of the books they read this summer for the library program, Noah said he tries but has probably forgotten a couple a long the way.
“I don’t usually keep track of how many books I read,” Noah said. “I’ve read at least 1,000 or 2,000 in my life.”
Having just checked out a 556-page book at the end of last week, Noah anticipated having it done before the month was over.
To other readers he would recommend the Gatekeeper Series about “unrealistic, modern day magic” or mystery found in the Hardy Boys. Noah also is fond of Percy Jackson books, the Hunter Brown series and for the younger readers, Dr. Seuss’s books for their clever rhymes.
“I’ve been reading as long as I can remember,” Noah said. “Since I was little I’ve been reading every night before bed. I still do for a half hour every night.”
He said he prefers bigger books and more difficult reading and in the past has read portions of the Bible and encyclopedias.
“I like learning new stuff and new words when I read,” Noah said. “When you’re reading, you never know what you’re going to learn about. Yesterday I learned what a veranda was.”
In addition to reading to learn, Noah said he reads for the thrill of it.
“You can be having a boring day and at the end of it, you get to plunge into a book and find adventure,” Noah said. “I don’t like to read about realistic things, the closest to that I get is reading about magic.
“Because it’s unreal, it’s so cool,” he said. “It grabs your attention more.”
Those tales found in books offer that sense of excitement to people of all ages, he said.
While Noah may be turning the pages for more adventure in his life, he said he prefers to read inside, away from bugs and the hot sun. In addition to reading in his house, he also reads in the car to pass the time.
“I’ve been in a car crash so sometimes I don’t like driving,” Noah said.
While Noah loves to read, he does spend time doing other things. He watches a lot of TV, likes to play basketball and soccer, enjoys video games, flying model airplanes and for the first time is raising rabbits to show at the Auglaize County Fair.
He spends 10 minutes a day working with his rabbits, a black male named King, and a white female named Snow. Noah even spit washes the rabbits he described as “soft and cute.”
“I’m into 4-H, but not into work, I’m not really a working person,” Noah said.
Spinning his lucky ring around his finger, Noah said he never takes the ring off. It used to be a mood ring, but he ripped off the part that changes color so it’s just black.
“It doesn’t really tell your mood, it only changes because of body heat,” Noah said matter of factly.
Having finished his fifth-grade year with almost all As, he was one B+ away from getting a cell phone as promised by his mother, Noah said as he talked about needing to practice his handwriting again for school work in the fall so he doesn’t lose his touch.
He has two younger sisters, Natalie, 2, and Samantha, 1, and lives in the country outside of Wapakoneta with his mother and step father, Corinne and James Metzger. His father, Aaron Hetrick, lives in Fremont.
The family also has a dog named Jagger, a black dog with one brown eye and one blue eye and a “foot long tail.”