2008-05-01 / Front Page

Dyslexic student books a visit with Pokémon author

Local B&N stores to hold book fair May 12; Tracey West to visit N.B. location
BY JENNIFER AMATO Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK- Ryan Moore had trouble reading as a child.

He was unable to recognize words and was more impressed by the pictures on the pages of a book.

Now, his favorite activity after school is reading the guidebook for the computer game "RuneScape: The Official Handbook" by his favorite author, Tracey West, of the Pokémon series fame.

The sixth-grade student at Newgrange School in Hamilton is turning a potential disability - dyslexia - around and is helping other children the way he was helped: through the gift of reading.

Ryan will hold a book fair all day on Monday, May 12, at all local Barnes & Noble bookstores. He will collect new books, picture books, books on CD and gift cards for children ages infant to 21. Any books whose storylines deal with children with disabilities are especially appreciated.

Or, a percentage of the total sales, using a voucher, will be donated to Ryan's project. Gift cards, Barnes & Noble memberships, textbooks and magazine subscriptions do not apply.

There will also be a meet-and-greet and story time from 7 to 9 p.m. that night at the North Brunswick location on Route 1. There, West will personally sign books of hers that are purchased.

"I'm learning how to read at my school and I want to spread the fun with everyone else," Ryan said.

Because Ryan received occupational therapy from the Hamilton facility of the Children's Specialized Hospital for dysgraphia and hypotonia, which affect motor skills and muscle tone, for three years, he chose to donate the books to that facility. Children's Specialized Hospital, which is opening a new wing in New Brunswick, services any child with any disability, whether from a brain injury, car accident, birth defect, etc.

"To me, it's amazing what they do, and I have seen some of the older kids aging out and it is amazing what they do for the kids," Ryan's mother, Lillian, said. "It is the reason why I was into this, besides that they helped [Ryan] so much."

"Because they helped me, I want to give back, and they're putting patients in New Brunswick," Ryan said of his reason for choosing to help the hospital. "I wanted to do toys … but we decided to do books."

He, himself, loves to read handbooks, guidebooks, the Henry Winkler series Hank Zipzer, based on the actor's own dyslexia, and the Pokémon books.

Although he did not get to meet Winkler when he held a book signing in East Brunswick, Ryan is especially excited to meet West.

"I talk on the computer to my friends and then I talk on the phone and then my mom and dad can't get me off the phone," he said, because he and his friends spend hours discussing the handbook for RuneScape.

On Dec. 18, Ryan will present the books toAmyMansue, the president of the hospital, at its New Brunswick facility in honor of his bar mitzvah project. Included will be 40 autographed books from authors that Lillian contacted through their Web sites.

Ryan will then celebrate his bar mitzvah on March 14, 2009, at Temple B'nai Shalom in East Brunswick.

For more information contact Lillian or Ryan at (732) 297- 6343 or visit www.childrens specialized.org.

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