100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

My Doppelganger Lives in My Library

Well, it happened again – a student discovered my world-record-holding look-alike in one of our library books. This time it was in the pages of Scholastic Book of Records 2011. A 3rd grader came up to me today and showed me this:

Hicham El Guerrouj

This has happened before. Turns out that Mr. Guerrouj holds the record for the mile and shows up a lot in world record books/almanacs. Every once in a while a student will come across his picture and either…

A. …think it’s me in the book (lower elementary student example). Or…

B. …grin like no tomorrow while showing me that I look like a Moroccan middle distance runner.

I get a kick out of it every time. Keep running, Hicham – I’ll bask in the glow of your notoriety any time¹.

¹Note to self: go to a track in Morocco and see if I can fool anybody.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. And I’m sure that, every once in a while, someone stops Hicham (in the middle of his distance run, fo course) to tell him that he looks just like Travis Jonker!

    Keep on runnin’ — both of you!

  2. Keep the book cover displayed on your desk with a tip jar.

  3. Vicki Kouchnerkavich says:

    My son actually met someone with the same name as himself, is a shirt tail relation and is in the same profession!

  4. Or hope he gets immortalized in a movie by an indy Moroccan film director and serve as his stunt double. You better start training. I bet you are a good runner like your doppelganger!

  5. Well, in that case, I’m going to highly recommend that you don this ensemble for your first big Caldecott meet: http://optimaltraining.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/05/27/hicham_el_guerrouj_gold_3.jpg

    Can’t wait for Chicago, friend!