Wisconsin Student Has 10 Million Words for the Love of Reading

Among students exhibiting a fondness for the written word, there are bookworms, bibliophiles, voracious readers, ardent page-turners – and Isaiah Scheuer.

As an eighth-grader at St. Paulís Evangelical Lutheran School in Oconomowoc, Wis., Isaiah struck a deal with Language Arts teacher Jill George: He would read 1 million words as part of the Scholastic Reading Counts independent reading program. If he were successful, Jill would treat him to lunch.

It was a lofty goal. But Isaiah not only met it, he exceeded it tenfold. By the end of the school year, he had read 10 million words, setting a new school record and more than doubling the school’s previous Scholastic Reading Counts record of 4.2 million words.

Isaiah read everywhere and any time he could slip a book into his hands – in the car, at the dinner table, before going to bed, and while getting ready for school. 

“Whenever I get a chance, I’ll read,” says Isaiah. That’s quite an understatement from someone who loves to explore the latest fantasies, medieval themes, and fiction, and who relishes his time at the library or thumbing through the latest bestsellers at school book fairs. 

Isaiah’s favorite titles, many of them bought at the Book Fair, include the Wheel of Time series, the Inkheart trilogy, the Redwall series (23 total books), the Missing series, and the Hunger Gamestrilogy. As Isaiah happily admits, he has become somewhat of a Book Fairs frequent shopper during the past few years.

“I’ve been to a total of 10 Book Fairs, and at each one I’ve either purchased a book or seen one that caught my eye and gotten it from the library. It's great that they have such a large variety of books,” he says.

Isaiah’s reading feat has not gone unnoticed at his alma mater. Several current St. Paul’s students have already decided to chase Isaiah's record.  

What’s his reaction? “I think it’s great! That's why I set the record. If you want to be a big reader and think you can do it, you should go for it,” he insists.

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