What They’re Reading: Library volunteer Geoffrey Heil
Geoffrey Heil was experiencing some challenges when his mother, also his homeschool teacher, assigned him to read To Kill a Mockingbird.
“I’m going to look back on that book and think it was a difficult time for me, but I got through it and the characters got through it,” says the rising junior. “There are a lot of parallels and themes I identify with. Look at the other person’s point of view before you judge them. Things are difficult, but it’s okay.”
Geoffrey, 16, lives in Lebanon County, but he belongs to the Dauphin County Library System’s Young Adult Book Club and volunteers at the East Shore Library for the richness of its programs. He’s looking forward to participating in The Library’s Summer Reading Challenge again.
Since ninth grade, his mother has been assigning classics, from Romeo and Juliet to Death of a Salesman – the books and plays he has heard about and can now learn “what they mean and what I can take away,” he says.
What have you been reading? The Hobbit was a good introduction. I watched the movie trilogy. There’s more to it because of that book. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is probably my favorite so far. You see the characters grow and develop. In the final chapter, when Francie is getting ready to go out on a date, and she looks out the window and sees herself, I remember that moment. My mom and I were going over it, and it was emotionally powerful for both of us. The Great Gatsby – wow. The simplicity of the language. We get to know a character that everyone thinks they know all that’s left to know about, but there is a lot more.
What are you discovering in your reading? Journey stories are powerful for me. You see growth in the characters. You see growth in the plot. You see growth in society.
What do you love about The Library? I get most of my books there. I volunteered because I was meeting like-minded people and decided that this was what I needed. It’s a whole other world. It’s not just about getting books and audiobooks. The Library is a hub you can use for so many things. Even to just escape and read a book is really positive.