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Ava Thompson: "That's how I even really found out about volleyball. I found a manga called 'Haikyū!!' that I read."

Ava Thompson and her father smile to camera in front of a book case at the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library
Rebecca Smith

Ava Thompson spoke with the Missouri On Mic team at The Poplar Bluff Municipal Library in July.

She’s a middle schooler from Elsinore Missouri and she spoke with KBIA's Rebecca Smith about her love of books and volleyball.

Missouri on Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.

Ava Thompson: I don't really know when I started reading.

When I was younger, I've never really had a problem with it because everyone else never really liked reading that much, for some reason they thought it was like boring.

I thought it was just like a movie without pictures. Well, sometimes I have pictures, just not moving pictures. No voice acting.

Favorite books... I think the "Mortal Instruments" series are all really good. They're written by Cassandra Clare. And there's about like 14 or something books of them. It's this secret society called the "shadow hunters" that fight demons.

None of my friends really read books. And they always try and talk to me while I'm reading. It's a bit irritating.

I actually got a check mark for reading "The Hunger Games" series while I was supposed to be working during class. So I got punished, too, this year.

I don't go to libraries that often.

I tend to read on my phone on sites like AO3 or Webtoon.

But we came here because I don't think my dad says that counts for some reason. So he just came to get me out of my room, probably. To go read some books here.

I really like art. I'm pretty good at drawing I think. I think I'm pretty good at drawing.

When I first got into it, I drew for like, hours each day. It's really fun.

And my dad bought me some of these like, crappy like tutorial for chibi characters. They weren't that good, but it was still nice.

Uh, I'm really... I like volleyball a lot. It's probably the only sport I like.

It's not at my school, so I hardly even found out about it. And I've been practicing a lot every day because we got a whole net just for ourselves.

But we actually started like a little change our minds thing that are—people around our area are signing to get volleyball at our school.

So I'm hoping we can do that. Because I know a lot of schools around us have volleyball.

We—I went to a like council meeting, where they suggested that they'd think about it more when school started and they'd see if we got more support.

But the person who wanted volleyball, who suggested—who brought it up in the first place at the meeting didn't want to wait that long.

So she started it now so we can get more supplies and more support for it.

Making a full circle, that's how I even really found out about volleyball.

I found a manga called "Haikyū!!" that I read.

And that's what even got me into it. I liked how they explained all of it. So I tried a bit for myself and I thought it was fun.

Rebecca Smith: Cool, have you gotten Mom and Dad to play with you?

Ava Thompson: I have, yes. I've made them play with me.

Rebecca Smith: How, how are they? Are they any good?

Ava Thompson: Sort of.

Rebecca Smith is a reporter and producer for the KBIA Health & Wealth desk. She was born and raised in Rolla, Missouri, and graduated with degrees in Journalism and Chemistry from Truman State University in May 2014. Rebecca comes to KBIA from St. Louis Public Radio, where she worked as the news intern and covered religion, neighborhood growth and the continued unrest in Ferguson, MO.
Caoilinn left KBIA in December of 2022.
Caoilinn Goss is the Audio Convergence Editor at KBIA. She trains and oversees student reporters, editors and anchors to produce daily afternoon newscasts. She's also a Missouri Journalism School alum.