My Books To Read

Sometimes it’s hard work, but Ruby Wiles’ efforts are worth it.

Wiles is the founder of Free Books for Kids Town.

In the past week she has visited schools all over Warren County, carting with her thousands of books.

At each stop, she pulls books out of her car and puts them on display in the school.

Then students come, pick two they like, and walk away with new books.

Wiles gives away her books.

“If you give them something they are interested in, they’ll start to read,” she said.

On Monday, many of the second graders at Youngsville Elementary School took Captain Underpants books and others geared to young readers, but some took more serious materials.

Brianne Mitchell picked out books on Rosa Parks and the founding fathers. “I really like history,” she said.

Wiles doesn’t care what the students read, as long as they’re reading.

“I like learning about animals and stuff on Earth,” Youngsville Elementary School second-grader Fawne Hackman said. She had a book about the rainforest and one about the Middle East.

Some students didn’t find what they wanted in the books Wiles had brought into the school. If a student requested something, she generally knew if she had it in the car. If she did, she went out and got it.

“I’ve got an enormous collection of great stuff,” she said.

One student at Warren Area Elementary Center caught Wiles off-guard when he requested information on the Civil War. She had to go to the car, but she found what he wanted. “He said, ‘This is heaven,'” she said. “That boy was so excited to get two books on the Civil War.”

Not all students needs motivation to put their noses in books, but they still need the books to read.

“It’s cool because I love to read,” second-grader Kenzie Olewine said. And it’s better to read “what I want to read.”

“I picked ‘The Wind in the Willows’ because it was Mrs. Wagner’s favorite book,” she said.

She plans to start reading the books soon and doesn’t expect ‘The Wind in the Willows’ to last more than four days.