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.
Each year the contest is planned and coordinated by Mr. Timothy Phillips, Subject Department Librarian and Ms. Amy Dawson, Manager, Literature Department/Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library (CPL).
2017 Letters About Literature: Ohio
The 1,340 Ohio students in Grades 4-12 that participated in the Letters About Literature 2016/2017 contest resided in twelve counties: Allen, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Franklin, Hamilton, Medina, Mahoning, Portage, Pickaway, Summit, and Stark. Of the 1,340 students, 422 were from Level I (grade 4-6); 494 from Level II (grades 7 & 8), and 424 from Level III (grades 9-12). Our deepest thanks are extended to each and every teacher and parent who sponsored a student. We’d also like to thank the judges for this year’s contest: Linda Feagler, Senior Editor, Ohio Magazine; Shayna Muckerheide, Manager, CPL Lorain Branch and William Spencer, CPL Librarian, docent and concierge. Finally, we thank Cleveland’s Friends of the Library and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress for their support.
On Saturday, May 13, 2017, Ohio Center for the Book held its annual Letters About Literature ceremony in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium at Cleveland Public Library. The following are Ohio’s Letters About Literature 2016/2017 winners and honorable finalists. To read more about the Ohio’s 2016/2017 Letters About Literature contest, click here to download/view the commemorative booklet. View image of Letters About Literature ceremonies: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Level I Winners (Grades 4, 5 & 6)
First Place: Qiwen Wu (Grade 5: Birchwood School, Cleveland. Sponsor: Karen Kufahl) Letter to author Thanhha Lai concerning her book, Inside Out and Back Again
Second Place: Malak Mamoun (Grade 6: Birchwood School, Cleveland. Sponsor: Lorraine Tzeng) Letter to author Cynthia Lord concerning her book, Rules
Third Place: Samuel Geelhood, (Grade 5: Self-Entered, Beavercreek. Sponsor: Tara Geelhood) Letter to author Esther Forbes (1891-1967) concerning novel, Johnny Tremain
Honorable Finalist: Colin Barberic (Grade 6: A. I. Root Middle School, Medina. Sponsor: Kerilyn O’Brien) Letter to author Raquel Jaramillo Palacio (aka P. J. Palacio) concerning her book, Wonder
Honorable Finalist: Aidan Arman Razvi Berard (Grade 6: Birchwood School, Cleveland. Sponsor: Lorraine Tzeng) Letter to author Holy Goldberg Sloan concerning her novel, Counting by 7’s
Honorable Finalist: Morgan Way (Grade 6: Rocky River Middle School, Rocky River. Sponsor: Therese Konrad) Letter to Donna Gephart concerning her book, Lily and Dunkin
Honorable Finalist: Eliana Yang (Grade 6: Birchwood School, Cleveland. Sponsor: Lorraine Tzeng) Letter to author Jacqueline Kimball concerning her book, Lindy on the Oregon Trail
Level II Winners (Grades 7 & 8)
First Place: Alexander (“Xander”) Shaffer (Grade 7: St. Michael School, Canton. Sponsor: Amy Krajeck) Letter to author Rick Riordan concerning his book, The Lightning Thief
Second Place: Rhea Pathak (Grade 7: Hastings Middle School, Upper Arlington. Sponsor Renee Stevenson) Letter to Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) concerning her poem, “Human Family”
Third Place: Margaret Taylor (Grade 7: Lee Burneson Middle School, Westlake. Sponsor: Sara Latkowski) Letter to author Rick Yancey concerning his book, The Fifth Wave
Honorable Finalist: Isabella Adams (Grade 7: St. Michael the Archangel School, Canton. Sponsor: Amy Krajeck) Letter to author Chantele Sedgwick concerning her novel, Love, Lucas
Honorable Finalist: Mary Elizabeth (“M.E.”) Hargett (Grade 7: Lee Burneson Middle School, Westlake. Sponsor: Sara Latkowski) Letter to author Chris Grabenstein concerning her book, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Honorable Finalist: Samantha Mumper (Grade 8: St. Nicholas Academy, Reading. Sponsor: Carol Graler) Letter to author Robert Cormier (1925-2000) concerning his novel, Tunes for Bears to Dance To
Honorable Finalist: Jacob Rintamaki (Grade 7: Lee Burneson Middle School, Westlake. Sponsor: Deborah Schrembeck) Letter to author Raquel Jaramillo Palacio (aka P.J. Palacio) concerning her book, Wonder
Level II Winners (Grades 9-12)
First Place: Sandy Shen (Grade 10: Self-entered, Solon. Sponsor: Lai Mee Shen) Letter to playwright Arthur Miller concerning his play, Death of a Salesman, winner of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play
Second Place: Sai Rayala (Grade 9: Self-entered, Powell.) Letter to author Markus Zusak concerning his novel, The Book Thief
Third Place: Campbell Budzar (Grade 12: Roosevelt High School, Kent. Sponsor: Pamela Harr) Letter to poet Andrea Gibson concerning her poem, “I Sing the Body Electric, Especially When My Power’s Out,” from her album Flower Boy
Honorable Finalist: Cassidy (“Cassie”) Cox (Grade 9: Ursuline Academy, Cincinnati. Sponsor: Dr. Anne Hinkle) Letter to Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai concerning her autobiography, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Honorable Finalist: Jack Fredette (Grade 11: Turpin High School, Cincinnati. Sponsor: Sandra Dunston Hoover) Letter to author Emma Forrest concerning her memoir Your Voice in My Head
Honorable Finalist: Benjamin Lee O’Daniel (Grade 12: Roosevelt High School, Kent. Sponsor: Pamela Harr) Letter to author Benjamin Alire Sáenz concerning his novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Honorable Finalist: Lauren Watts (Grade 12: Westerville Central High School, Westerville. Sponsor: James Grannis) Letter to author Paula Danziger concerning her novel, P. S. Longer Letter Later