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Summer of reading is time well spent

LESLIE BREFELDsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk
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Silverthorne resident Miranda Miner is such an avid reader, if she’s not completely enthralled with a book she’s begun, she starts on two others at the same time. If she is excited by a novel, like “The Da Vinci Code,” she’ll finish it off in a day. But Miranda’s not only a literature aficionado; she’s also an 11-year-old.The soon-to-be Summit Middle schooler, who devours an average of four books (not from the children’s section) a week, is currently reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “The Rule of Four” and “The Mists of Avalon.” The historical fiction, intellectual thriller and science fiction/fantasy were not chosen randomly.”It serves two purposes,” Miranda said of reading the different genres. “I won’t get the plots mixed up and it can fit whatever mood I’m in.”Maureen Keefe, owner of Miranda’s favorite bookstore, Winds of Change in Frisco, said, “Her reading level surpasses mine in terms of vocabulary and words. She’s read the entire series of ‘Lord of the Rings’ – that’s pretty dense stuff.””People are always asking me,” Miranda said, ” ‘Do you read all day.’ ” And as it turns out, she doesn’t. “I eat, my mom takes me to the movies, I turn my Game Cube on, draw. I actually do take breaks.”

Miner’s appetite for books goes back to her mother, Arly, reading to her when she was young … er, younger. “In the first grade I decided she was reading too slowly,” she said. So she picked up and began reading the entire “Harry Potter” series.Since then Arly’s own love of reading has kept Miranda supplied with literature. The two often share books and sometimes read them together as they are doing with “Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter” – a book recommended by her school newsletter.Miranda said they highlight parts they like and take turns talking about it.”We’re trying to get more positive energy in our lives,” Miranda said.Her mother also has exposed her to the classics in an effort to ready her for high school and college assignments wherein she won’t always get to read the book of her choice. For the most part they were well-received, with a few exceptions.

She didn’t get past the beginning of Jane Austen’s “Emma.” “I don’t care about the life of rich girls,” she said. Which brings up Miranda’s philosophy on reading. “You have to find what you like. Reading can be the last thing you think of as fun, but reading is a lot of fun,” she said.As a third-grader at Frisco Elementary School, Miner was the youngest student in the school’s history to break the record for reading points. And her seemingly urgent desire to accumulate the knowledge from books is in keeping with her nature as a collector.

She said she collects just to collect; it began with dinosaur paraphernalia, then on to cats and dogs, then snakes, then tornadoes. With each interest, she dives in, learning everything she can about the particular topic.Now she’s riding horses and saving up to buy her own. Miranda’s creative mind is helping her with this endeavor as she sells some of her past collections on eBay and also by shooting photographs for a possible greeting card series.Miranda knows she’s an intellectual, but that’s not guiding her career path. As a confident student, she’s interested in challenging herself in new ways.”Just because I like to read – I don’t have to go into academia,” Miranda said. “I want to be a fashion designer.”Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-4626 or lbrefeld@summitdaily.com.


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