Hogans takes love of reading to state contest

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 2, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The connection seventh-grader Kristin Hogans made with &8220;Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry,&8221; has taken her further than she expected.

Hogans, 12, chose to do her school reading fair project on the book because it was a gift from an aunt, and it was signed by the author.

Turns out she liked it.

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&8220;It was great,&8221; she said. &8220;It was a story about back then and I wasn&8217;t there. I like to learn about that stuff. I just made a connection with it.&8221;

Hogans spent about two weeks creating a storyboard for the book and summarizing the plot &8212; the story of black children growing up in a racist world.

She spray painted her board and created a school bus to put on it. Her work was good enough to win second place in the Robert Lewis Middle School reading fair. From there she took first place in the regional fair. And now she&8217;s headed to state.

At the state fair Hogans will travel along with her board for the first time. She&8217;ll stand beside it and answer questions for judges. She&8217;ll be nervous, she said.

The state competition is May 19, so Hogans has some time to review the book and spruce up the board.

&8220;I&8217;ll be ready for anything that comes toward me,&8221; she said.

Winning was a new thing for her, she said, and she&8217;s not sure how she&8217;ll do at the next level.

&8220;I don&8217;t really know because I usually don&8217;t win,&8221; she said. &8220;And I&8217;ve never been to one of these.&8221;

She&8217;s a straight-A student &8212; minus a recent B in pre-algebra &8212; and reading is growing on her. RLMS students participate in the 25 Book Campaign each year, and being forced to read has made her like it, Hogans said.