Superhero hooked on books

For 11 years Garth Rodda has been the Whangarei Intermediate School librarian and has spread his joy for books around the school.

Students from Whangarei Intermediate nominated Mr Rodda for the National Library of New Zealand Reading Superhero, and he was thrilled to take out the award.

Mr Rodda loves junior and teen fiction and keeps up with the latest releases and reviews.

"I get a feel for the books, have a read, and think if it appeals to me it's got to appeal to someone," he said. Each day four or five classes go through the library and Mr Rodda gives them the whole show.

"I've always got literature promotions running, what's new in the library. I'll read to them, sometimes just a chapter of something particularly good; other times a whole picture book."

He said the library ticks along nicely, thanks to his student librarians who help him out during lunchtimes.

Mr Rodda was a teacher before he was offered the position of full-time librarian. He said he is rapt to be able to focus on getting kids reading and loving junior fiction.

"When someone walks in, and they aren't all that into it, and then I find them the right book and get them hooked on it, that's very rewarding."

He said his favourite books are the Harry Potter and the Hunger Games series.

The most popular books at Whangarei Intermediate are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Year 8 student Olivia Sutherland said in her nomination for Mr Rodda: "He is completely devoted to the library and the students who come to see him every day.

"He gets the students to do all the fun stuff like issuing and returning books and choosing the ones to go on display."

- Northern Advocate

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