Extreme Reading

A couple of thousand students from 30 schools — including The Summit School in Edgewater — join in a historic celebration of literacy on May 10. From Baltimore to Honolulu to Cairo, they’ll be relay-reading a single book for pleasure, honor and conviction.
    The book, The Sword of Darrow, is a fantasy novel that begins, beneath the image of a spooky spider, with these words: Evil: Within this simple word lies a vast collection of deeds.
    Two youngsters, about the age of the middle-schoolers who’ll be reading, must rescue their country from the evil goblin empire of Globenwald. Reading Teen calls it “372 pages of pure awesomeness.”
    Pleasure reading for sure, unless you’re one of the kids for whom reading is a chore. Co-author Alex Malchow was one of those. When he and his writing partner, his father Hal Malchow, began their book in 2002, eight-year-old Alex could not read.
    Learning disabilities like Alex’s — along with a love of adventure — unite the junior author and his May 10 readers. They’re all students determined to raise awareness and funds for dyslexia by doing what they struggle with most: reading. Their goal is to demonstrate that all struggling readers can learn to read and become lifelong learners.
    They’re setting the bar high: breaking the Guinness World Record for the most people reading a single book in a single-day reading relay.
    The sponsoring International Dyslexia Association, based in Towson, starts the relay at 9am EST at The Lab School in Washington, D.C., where Alex Malchow studied. He reads the first sentence of his book to kick off the relay. Student by student and school by school, the book finishes midafternoon at Jemicy School in Owings Mills.
    Summit School’s nine readers take their turn at what time?
    The relay streams from each school live on the Internet.
    Offer your support at ­www.interdys.org/readingrelay.htm.