A National Reading and Writing Promotional Program for Children and Young Adults.
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with and in cooperation with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre– fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves.
2015 Letters About Literature Contest
Overall, Ohio had 1,784 participants in the 2014-2015 contest, ranking eight out of the total of 46 states that entered. It was third in the number of its Level I participants (grades 4-6), eleventh in the number of Level II participants (grades 7 & 8) and seventh in the number of participating students in grades 9-12 (Level III). Out of the seventeen states that were fortunate enough to have experienced a higher level of participation over that of the previous year, Ohio ranked third with an increase of 365 students.
Of the 1,784 letters written by Ohio students that were reviewed by the staff of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, 165 were advanced out of the first round of judging and were delivered to the Ohio Center for the Book at the Cleveland Public Library. Of these finalists, 63 students were from Level I (21 boys and 42 girls), 50 were from Level II (13 boys and 37 girls), and 52 from Level III (20 boys and 32 girls). It was from out of those 165 entries that first, Second, Third Place winners and four Honorable Finalists were drawn for each level by a panel of judges comprised of specialists from the disciples of library science and children’s advocacy. Among the authors most popularly written to by participants were Shel Silverstein (The Giving Tree), R. J. Palacio (Wonder), and Rick Riordan (the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series). Effort was made to forward copies of the students’ letters to their respective authors, whenever possible.
Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library (OCFB) is pleased to announce Ohio’s winners and honorable finalists of the 2015 Letters About Literature contest:
Level I Winners
First Place: Nathan Shepard (Grade 5, Birchwood School, Cleveland, Ohio) Letter to author R.J. Palacio concerning her book, Wonder
Second Place: Isaiah Wuest (Grade 6: West Union Public Library, West Union, Ohio) Letter to author Brian Jacques concerning his book, Mattimeo
Third Place: Charlie Movius, (Grade 5: Kensington Intermediate School, Rocky River, Ohio) Letter to author Laura Hillenbrand concerning her book, Unbroken
Honorable Finalist: Rachel Hare (Grade 6: St. Brigid of Kildare School, Dublin, Ohio) Letter to author Tony Abbott concerning his book, Firegirl
Honorable Finalist: Zuha Jaffar (Grade 5: Birchwood School, Cleveland, Ohio) Letter to author Sharon Draper concerning her book, Out of My Mind
Honorable Finalist: Lauren Jensen (Grade 6: Buckeye Central Elementary School, New Washington, Ohio) Letter to author Kristiana Gregory concerning her book, Bronte’s Book Club
Honorable Finalist: Ann Vettikkal (Grade 6: Mason Intermediate School, Mason, Ohio) Letter to Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, Comte de Saint Exupéry concerning his book, The Little Prince
Level II Winners
First Place: John Victor Pan (Grade 8: Birchwood School, Cleveland, Ohio) Letter to author Shel Silverstein concerning his book, The Giving Tree
Second Place: Kavya Pamulapati (Grade 8: Hastings Middle School, Columbus, Ohio) Letter to author Lauren Oliver concerning her book, Before I Fall
Third Place: Katelyn Ferrell (Grade 8: Garfield Heights Middle School, Hamilton, Ohio) Letter to poet Shane Koyczan concerning his poem, “Crickets Have Arthritis”
Honorable Finalist: Jamie Bridle (Grade 8: Olmsted Falls Middle School, Olmsted Falls, Ohio) Letter to “Erin Hunter” concerning the Warriors saga
Honorable Finalist: Esther Franz (Grade 8: Hastings Middle School, Columbus, Ohio) Letter to author Rick Riordin concerning his book, Lightning Thief
Honorable Finalist: Patrick Halaburda (Grade 7: Academy of St. Bartholomew, Middleburg Heights, Ohio) Letter to author Kristin Levine concerning her book, The Lions of Little Rock
Honorable Finalist: Ameen Zayed (Grade 8: Lee Burneson Middle School, Westlake, Ohio) Letter to author Carl Hiaasen concerning his book, Hoot and Flush
Level III Winners
First Place: Maxwell Figley (Grade 9: Veritas Classical Christian Academy, Ashland, Ohio) Letter to author Shel Silverstein concerning his book, The Giving Tree
Second Place: Alexa Caraballo (Grade 11: Boardman High School, Youngstown, Ohio) Letter to author Audrey Pen concerning her book, The Kissing Hand
Third Place: Cheyanne Cole (Grade 12: Westerville North High School, Westerville, Ohio) Letter to author Jay Asher concerning his book, Thirteen Reasons Why
Honorable Finalist: Justin Bunnell (Grade 12: Edgewood High School, Ashtabula, Ohio) Letter to author J. D. Salinger concerning his book, The Catcher in the Rye
Honorable Finalist: Amos Dousuah (Grade 12: Columbus Downtown High School, Columbus, Ohio) Letter to Hill Harper concerning his book, Letters to a Young Brother
Honorable Finalist: Kaitlin Schroeder (Grade 12: Leipsic High School, Mason, Ohio) Letter to author Laurie Halse Anderson concerning her book, Speak
Honorable Finalist: Daniel Vanest (Grade 12: Green High School, Uniontown, Ohio) Letter to author Erich Maria Remarque concerning his book, All Quiet on the Western Front