By Jeff Fox

Jack Martin has brought the little free library craze to Grain Valley.

Jack, an eighth grader this fall at Grain Valley North Middle School, came up with the idea and worked on it during Genius Hour every Tuesday during the last school year. That 45 minutes a week set aside for students to pursue subjects and ideas about which they feel most passionate.

“And I thought this would be cool,” he said. His project, a little library with about three dozen books inside, was dedicated in front of City Hall on Monday. City Hall is on Main Street, a few blocks south of Interstate 70.

The idea is straightforward. Take a look at what’s there. If you like something, take it and read it. Pass it on to someone else, or bring it back. Or bring a different book. It’s on the honor system. Little Free Library, a non-profit, offers a standard size and design and claims there are more than 50,000 little libraries in more than 70 countries.

A key part of the project, Jack said, was securing a $500 donation from the Blue Springs Elks to buy the library. Mayor Mike Todd helped organize people to paint and install it.

Jack says his favorite book genres are sports fiction and fantasy such as “Harry Potter,” “Divergent” and “I Am Number Four.”

This is not a one-time project. On Monday, Jack also held a book drive, and he plans to sort and categorize the books that came in and keep the library stocked.