MACKSVILLE — When the Macksville City Library welcomed Juan Manuel Villanueva Jr., the son of Juan and Iris Villanueva, to its 1,000 Book Wall of Fame, it was a special occasion.


Not only was Juan Jr. excited to become a new mini-Mustang and win an award for reading 1,000 books during his pre-school years, but his father, Juan Francisco Villanueva Holguin was a new American citizen.


"My brain really likes reading 1,000 books," Juan Jr. said.


He said that his mom read the most books to him and he read the "The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book" by himself. His favorite was "Pig the Fibber" by Aaron Blabey, because it was funny, he said.


For Juan Sr., the fact his son could read, loved to read and had the opportunity and access to books at the Macksville City Library, was special.


"I did not do too well in school," Villanueva Holguin said. "I moved here from Mexico when I was young, and I didn't think school was too important."


For Villanueva Holguin, the chance to become an American citizen on Jan. 10 was important because it gave his son Juan Jr. a better chance to become educated, with more opportunities for success in his life.


To gain American citizenship, Villanueva Holguin, who has lived in Stafford County and worked at Golden Belt Feeders as a mechanic for more than 10 years, had to attend classes, memorize the Pledge of Allegiance and learn American history. Then he was tested on his knowledge.


Villanueva Holguin took part in a naturalization ceremony at Wichita State University with more than 150 new American citizens.


"I have always been a law-abiding hard worker," Villanueva Holguin said. "But I always wanted to become an American citizen, so I could give my kid a better future. That's why I went through the naturalization process. It was all worth it."