SAUK RAPIDS - Six 4th grade boys at Mississippi Heights Elementary in Sauk Rapids started a lunchtime book club to share their love of reading.

"We kind of pick the book as a group and we want the book to be where everyone can read and relate to it. Like sports, because we all play sports here," 4th grader Ethan Swanson says.

Dan DeBaun, WJON
Dan DeBaun, WJON

Swanson and his friend Nicholas Anderson decided to form a club after finding books they wanted to read in the school library. They created a small group with several of their other friends to share their enthusiasm for reading.

The other four members of the club are Zach Swanson, Colin Gruber, Clayton Shofield and Ben Condon. The group is so dedicated to the idea that they cut into their lunchtime twice a week to eat together and have discussions.


"We usually read a chapter or two every time we meet. Then the next time we ask questions about it and other people have to answer them," Anderson says.

The group meets for about half-an-hour on Mondays and Thursdays. It’s a group with no shortage of personality -- they crack a lot of jokes and make funny faces at each other while reading. However, at the same time, the group prides itself with staying on task and keeping each other accountable for the reading.

Everyone is expected to contribute and ask questions during discussion.

"We know if they don't answer a question that they haven't been reading," Anderson says with a smile.

The club formed after teachers approved the idea. The group plans to finish at least five books this year.

"We're reading bigger books, like chapter books," Swanson says.

It’s a simple way for the 4th graders to share time together and their love of books.

"It just really brings out the fun. When you're sitting in a car with nothing to do, you have that book next to you to just bring you to a whole new world," Swanson says.

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