Cassandra Armstrong loves to read.

When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world and schools, businesses and many other facilities closed their doors, the nine-year-old from Fort Frances wanted to do something to help.

“My favourite thing to do is read books and I thought I could share it with the world and that’s my way of helping,” she said.

Cassandra set an ambitious goal for herself of reading 100 books aloud — one a day — and posting them online on Facebook and her YouTube page — Cassandra Star Armstrong.

The videos aren’t just Cassandra reading plainly in her home. She dresses up in character or similar to the theme of the book she’s chosen and often changes up her location. Sometimes she’s indoors, other times she’s by a lake, sitting in the

grass or even in the rain. She also loves to take on the characters of the book when reading.

She’s heard feedback from fans ages three to 73 and even some of the authors of the books she’s read in her story-time series have reached out.

Cassandra has heard from her all-time favourite author Robert Munsch twice as well as Nancy Tillman, Peter Reynolds and Robin Preiss Glasser, the illustrator of the Fancy Nancy book series.

“It is so amazing that when I love these authors, they tell me they love me,” said Cassandra. “It’s amazing.”

The outgoing nine-year-old has also been recognized by the Town of Fort Frances with a Hero in the Community award.

“It meant so much to me that people thought I was a hero,” she said. “It means so much to me and it cheers me up reading to them. It’s just amazing people love my reading and it’s so amazing to know I am helping.”

As of Friday, Cassandra had read 73 books for the online series. She’s also written a poem she might share in her journey to read for 100 days.

“I’ve always wanted to be a writer or an illustrator because I love books so much,” she said.

(This story was originally published on June 3, 2020)

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