El Pasoan returns library book 15 years after borrowing it

El Paso News

Photo courtesy of EPISD.

EL PASO, Texas (EPISD) — What’s the fine for a book that’s 15 years overdue?

Fifteen years ago, Maurice Grenier, a student at Carlos Rivera Elementary School, borrowed a book about world mythology. Grenier, now 24, returned the book last week to the school on the Westside.

Maurice Grenier, a Coronado High School graduate, was a student at Rivera Elementary when he borrowed Richard Barber’s “A Companion To World Mythology.” He loved the book — which includes stories about mythological heroes, monsters, gods and other creatures — so much that he never returned the book to the library. According to the EPISD, in 2003, it was part of the library`s reference collection, and therefore not allowed to be checked out by students.

The book sparked a love of reading for Grenier, but he said he felt guilty about not returning the book.

“My third-grade teacher Mrs. Fleming would take us to the library every so often and one day I came across” the book, Grenier said. “Reading that book gave me a sense that there was more to the world that we are usually told. More mystery, adventure a deeper meaning to be found.”

Rivera librarian Rachel Coronado, who did not yet work at the school when the book was taken, was happy to receive the replacement book, but even happier to know that the book sparked a passion for reading.

“I’m thrilled that something the school provided helped him discover his gift and purpose in life,” she said. “The amazing fact is that it was not a person, but a book, that impacted this young man. That reassures me greatly as an educator.”

Grenier did not face any fees, as Coronado said his actions lead to the library’s intended purpose: a lifelong love of literacy.

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