GEORGINA Sparling is devouring books at a rate of knots.
The dedicated 12-year-old has read 38 books ranging from abridged Shakespeare to Anthony Horowitz in seven weeks and has no intention of slowing down.
And luckily for her, Hayling College – which has signed up to The News’ campaign Read All About It – is taking part in the national Readathon charity fundraiser that rewards reading with money for good causes.
Georgina and 104 other Year 7 students have so far accumulated 423 books since World Book Day on March 1 and they have been pledged more than £1,000 sponsorship to support seriously-ill children and give free books for schools.
The challenge, which finishes on May 1, is encouraging keen readers to read more than ever before and it has even led reluctant readers to discover an appetite for stories.
Georgina, whose sponsors were perhaps wise not to pay by the book, has been pledged £45.
She said: ‘I read all the time but now there’s even more reason because it’s helping to raise money for charity.
‘Books give you an escape from our mundane lives – we wake up, we eat, we go to school, and so on, but when you read you are transported to another world.
‘I like books that teach you something new. Out of all the books I’ve read for the Readathon my favourite is Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – it’s like biting into the crunchiest apple you could ever find.’
Lily Gray, who has finished 12 books so far, stumbled on Jacqueline Wilson books thanks to the Readathon and is now hooked.
The 11-year-old said: ‘I’d never read, but I made an effort as it was for charity – now I can’t stop reading.’
All the children have twice weekly 25-minute sessions to read towards the Readathon challenge as well as an hour every fortnight, but they are all making their own time to get ahead.
Imogen Gervasoni, 12, who is on 14 books, reads every day.
She said: ‘When I read I get sucked into the story and imagine I’m one of the characters, it’s so much fun.’