At first glance, Taylor Munyon’s reading log for this week appears to be in order. The sheet is completely filled out, including the requisite parent signature for each entry, and he turned it in on time to Mr. Kuppershek. But we took a closer look at the third-grader’s weekly reading record and uncovered a series of inconsistencies that led us to a shocking conclusion:
Taylor lied on his reading log.
Consider this entry, dated October 20:
Several details stand out. The first red flag is the page-to-minute ratio: 60 minutes for 60 pages. The symmetry is suspicious, as is the fact that a third-grader reading at top speed would be lucky to average 30 pages per hour, let alone 60. There’s no doubt about it: These books have been cooked. But the real giveaway? Taylor got his grandmother to sign the entry instead of his parents, shamelessly enlisting the elderly woman as an unwitting pawn in his scheme.
As you start to dig deeper, Taylor’s delicately constructed fiction begins to crumble.
In one perplexing entry, he feigns transparency by openly admitting to only reading The Golden Compass for 10 minutes, falling 20 minutes short of the half hour per night minimum. At first, this seems curious, and even, perhaps, truthful. But a simple analysis reveals the concession for what it is: a cynical ploy by a seasoned liar.
Though Taylor claims to have exceeded the weekly reading requirement for Mr. Kuppershek’s third-grade class, the entries on his log tell a different story: the story of a boy who didn’t want to read Superfudge when he got home from school, and was willing to do anything—even fabricate his entire reading log—to get out of it.
Taylor, of course, will deny this. He’ll tell you with a straight face that he read 40 pages of Roald Dahl’s The BFG in half an hour and finished Where The Red Fern Grows in two days. Because that’s what he does. This is the game he plays. And he gets away with it, too.
How long until someone holds him accountable for his actions? Days? Weeks? It’s hard to say. One thing is certain: Taylor should not be allowed to attend the Readers of the Month pizza party. Many students worked hard for that honor, and Taylor’s attendance would undoubtedly compromise the integrity of the event.
In the time since we first ran this story, Mr. Kuppershek has launched an inquiry into the allegations levied against Taylor. If found guilty, Taylor faces a one-week suspension from recess and a mandatory parent-teacher conference.