(Valley News Live) -- An eighth grader from Minnesota will be heading to the capital for the Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition Sunday.
14-year-old Gavin Starr loves to spell; his friends call him "Spell Check."
Reading caught Gavin's attention at a young age and over time he's grown quite the collection of books. One of them is titled "Pay It Forward" by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
"She thought the world could be a lot better if people were just kinder to one another," said Gavin.
Gavin says the book taught the power of doing three kind things for three different people.
"Tell those three people to do it to three other people, and it just grows and grows and grows," said Gavin.
He says he's only read that book fives times, but that's only one of his many favorites.
"He's always been a voracious reader, and that helps with vocabulary and spelling," said his English teacher Julie Olson. "I have extra books in my class just for Gavin so that when he's finished working, he'll come up and he'll say 'may I read one of your books?'"
In sixth grade, he tried out for the school spelling bee. He didn't place that year, but in 7th grade, he placed 5th and then came this year.
"This time I just went all out," said Gavin.
He got first place, making his way to regional's and then placing first at states in Fergus Falls.
"I just studied every day. That one, we had a list and it was about like 1,500 words long," said Gavin.
The lists are what he uses to prepare for each spelling bee. His parents also help him study.
"The dining room table," said his mother Sterling. "That's where we always sit to study and quiz."
After placing first, Gavin found out that he will now be going to nationals.
"He spelled magistrate correctly which was his final word. He was just so excited, and I cried," said his mother.
Gavin and his family will be leaving for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. in hopes of not only bring home another medal but to make a name for his school.