Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

October 21, 2005

2004-2005 "Letters About Literature" Winners Announced

Six National Winners Read their Letters at the National Book Festival

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Target Stores have announced the national and state winners of the 2004-2005 "Letters About Literature" reading and writing program.

More than 47,000 students in grades 4-12 participated in the program, a record number. Each wrote a personal letter to an author — past or present — expressing how that author’s work had changed the student’s view of himself or herself or of the world. More than 100 judges across the country selected state winners in three competition levels (elementary school, grades 4-6; middle school, grades 7-8; and high school, grades 9-12).

Affiliated state centers for the book in 39 states and the District of Columbia took part by selecting the state-level judges, who often were teachers, librarians, authors, or publishers. Many state centers also hosted state awards ceremonies. Center for the Book consultant Catherine Gourley is the national Letters About Literature coordinator.

The six national winners, chosen from among the state winners, took part in the National Book Festival on the National Mall on Sept. 24, where they read their winning letters in the "Teens & Children" pavilion. Each winner received a $500 gift certificate to Target Stores and a trophy, which were presented to them by Beth McGuire, manager of Community Relations for Target, and John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book, who moderated the program. Target, the national retail sponsor of Letters About Literature, brought the winners, their parents and teachers to Washington, D.C. for the festival.

The six national and 125 state winners are listed below by competition level, along with the author and book or piece of writing chosen by each winner. For more information about Center for the Book and its programs, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook.

NATIONAL WINNERS

Mitchell Deck, Peoria, Ill.; Keith Brandt, "Lou Gerig, Pride of the Yankees"

Latricia Shaw, Springfield, Ore.; Dave Pelzer, "A Child Called It"

Gabe Goodman, Greeley, Colo.; Terry Trueman, "Stuck in Neutral"

Amy Tai, Tulsa, Okla.: Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club"

Edward Chen, Ames, Iowa; Albert Camus, "The Stranger"

Harrah Danielle Pierce, Radford, Virginia; Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game"

STATE WINNERS

ALABAMA

-Carter Goodwyn, Montgomery; Lillie Patterson, "Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Movement."

-Leslie Kraynak, Spanish Fort; Antoine De Saint-Expurey, "The Little Prince."

-Ellen Cresay, Florence; C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."

ALASKA

-Cassidey Walker, Dutch Harbor; Martin Luther King, Jr., "I Have a Dream" speech.

-Marshall Farris, Wasilla; Mitch Albom, "Tuesdays with Morrie."

-Jenna Blackburn, Kenai; Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird."

ARIZONA

-Moriah Kandi Greathouse, Tempe; Jerry Spinelli, "Loser."

-Sergio Jose Canez, Tucson; R.R.Tolkien, the "Lord of the Rings" series.

-Kathleen Conti, Tucson; Madeline L’Engle, "A Ring of Endless Night."

ARKANSAS

-Benjamin Dardas, Harrison; Lois Lowry, "The Giver."

-Camille Coston, Little Rock; Tamora Pierce, "Trickster’s Choice."

-Elisa Shea, Bismarck; David Pelzer, "A Child Called It."

CALIFORNIA

-Kelsey Woo, Newport Beach; Betty Smith, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."

-Laura Gibson, Upland; Marian Hale, "The Truth About Sparrows."

-Hann-Shuin Yew, San Jose; Iris Chang, "The Rape of Nanking."

COLORADO

-Emma Thompson, Denver; Lois Lowry, "The Giver."

-Gabe Goodman, Greeley; "Terry Trueman," Stuck in Neutral."

-Brad Young, Colorado Springs; T.H. White, "The Once and Future King."

CONNECTICUT

-Anna Alferi, West Hartford; Andy Lipman, "Alive at 25."

-Sophia Harrington, West Hartford; Georges Duplaix, "The Big Brown Bear."

-Abbe Muller, West Hartford; Elie Weisel, "Dawn."

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

-Nina Silverberg; Sharon Creech, "Walk Two Moons."

-Christopher Prust; Albert Marrin, "Hitler."

-Yesenia Ventura; Mitch Albom, "Tuesdays with Morrie."

FLORIDA

-Terry Hemmingway, Land O’Lakes; Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, "Shiloh."

-Alexandra Mulligan, Coral Springs; Judy Blume, "Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret."

-Mary Kate Floyd, Weston; Sue Mayfield, "Drowning Anna."

GEORGIA

-Caitlin Whitehead, Franklin; Ursula K. LeGuin, "Catwings."

-Ashley Price, Macon; Anne Frank, "The Diary of a Young Girl."

-Jung (Mary Beth) Yoon; Bill Watterson, "Calvin & Hobbes."

HAWAII

-Sydney Yoshioka, Honolulu; Kate Dicamillo, "The Tale of Despereaux."

-Emma de Vries, Kailua; O Henry, "The Gift of the Magi."

-Maran Osakoda, Kapaa; Dave Pelzer, "A Child Called It."

ILLINOIS

-Mitchell Deck, Peoria; Keith Brandt, "Lou Gehrig, Pride of the Yankees."

-Jocelyn Garibay, Bloomingdale; Steven Levenkron, "The Luckiest Girl in the World"

-Matthew Levine, Evanston; Lance Armstrong, "It’s Not About the Bike."

INDIANA

-Logan Rassel, Valparaiso; J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series.

-Christina Goggin, Cambridge City; Emily Dickinson, "If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking."

-Shannon O’Halloran, Muncie; Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar."

IOWA

-Erica Bjelland, Decorah; Patricia Reilly Giff, "Pictures of Hollis Woods."

-Bekah Hanish, Badger; Lynn and Gilbert Moss, "Driven with the Wind."

-Edward Chen, Ames; Albert Camus, "The Stranger."

KENTUCKY

-Daniel Kiesling, Lexington; Emily Rodda, "Rowan of Rin."

-K.C. Holbert, Bardstown; J.R.R. Tolkein, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy

-No category 3 winner

LOUISIANA

-No category 1 winner

-No category 2 winner

-Rachel Clark, Baker; L. M. Montgomery, "Emily Climbs."

MAINE

-Sean Fay, Camden; Carl Hiaasen, "Hoot."

-Ansley White, Cumberland; Jean Ferris, "Eight Seconds."

-Katelyn E. Roedner, Saco; Daniel Quinn, "My Ishmael."

MARYLAND

-Darcy Costello, Columbia; Mildred D. Taylor, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry."

-Chelsea Heatley, Crofton; Judy Blum, "Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret."

-Ashleigh Jobson, Annapolis; Anonymous, "Go Ask Alice."

MASSACHUSETTS

-Karlee Sullivan, Ayer; Shel Silverstein, "The Voice."

-Katharine Henry, Melrose; Frances Hodgson Burnett, "The Secret Garden."

-Karen Wilfrid, Jefferson; Katherine Mansfield, "Miss Brill."

MICHIGAN

-Crystel Barbee, Detroit; Madonna, "English Roses."

-Carissa Shalosky, Hillsdale; Kimberly Kirberger, "No Body’s Perfect."

-Anne Pedtke, Laingsburg; Ray Bradbury, "Dandelion Wine."

MINNESOTA

-Laura Thompson, Bemidi; Dave Pelzer, "A Child Called It."

-Stephen Kindt, Excelsior; Vince Lombardi, "What It Takes to be Number 1" (speech).

-Aaron LaFave, Faribault; J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye."

MISSISSIPPI

-No category 1 winner

-Kate Green, Ocean Springs; Arthur C. Clarke, "2061: Odyssey Three."

-No category 3 winner.

MISSOURI

-Katherine Petruillo, St. Louis; Virginia Hamilton, "Bluish."

-Lauren Croll, Columbia; Terry McMillian, "Mama."

-Jessica Lemaster, Nixa; Charles Frazier, "Cold Mountain."

MONTANA

-Jose Rundle, Bigfork; Ben Mikaelsen, "Petey."

-Nicole Lightner, Chateau; Louis Sachar, "Holes"

-Jenny Turk, Joliet; L.M. Montgomery, "Anne of Green Gables."

NEBRASKA

-Fiona Loggie, Omaha; Dianne Gray, "Holding Up the Earth."

-Elizabeth Milan, Herman; Misty Bernall, "She Said Yes."

-Alexander J. Lin, Lincoln; Mark Twain, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court."

NEVADA

-No category 1 winner.

-Gaby Al-Dabbagh, Las Vegas; Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird."

-No category 3 winner.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

-Shauna Casey, Salem; Patricia Polacco, "Thank You Mr. Faulker."

-Evelyn Anne Bulkeley, Plainfield; Thorton Wilker, "Our Town."

-No category 3 winner.

NEW JERSEY

-Olivia Boser, Rumson; Cherie Bennet and Jeff Gottesfeld, "Anne Frank and Me."

-Megan Hartwick, Mahwah; Lois Lowry, "The Messenger."

-Sanders Berstein, Mountain Lakes; Humphrey Carpenter, "J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography."

NEW MEXICO

-Joey Roback, Placitas; Jerry Spinelli, "Loser."

-Christian A. Zikmanis, Las Cruces; Lois Lowry, "The Giver."

-Heather Berghmans, Stanley; Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire."

NEW YORK

-Matthew Siegel, Grand Island; Elizabeth George Speare, "The Sign of the Beaver."

-Vivian Yu, Brooklyn; Jerry Spinelli, "Stargirl."

-Cornian Encarnacion, Corona; Franz Kafka, "The Metamorphosis."

NORTH CAROLINA

-Amira Elmalawny, Winston-Salem; Kate DiCamillo, "Tale of Despereaux."

-Sabrina Christensen, Asheville; J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone."

-Hayley Gula, Mooresville; Livia Bitton-Jackson, "I Have Lived a Thousand Years."

NORTH DAKOTA

-Mia Barnett, Fargo; Ann M. Martin, "A Corner of the Universe."

-Macy Egeland, Bismarck; Robert Newton Peck, "The Day No Pigs Would Die."

-Xiaowen Li, Fargo; Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye."

OHIO

-Sahar Atassi, Westlake; C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."

-Rachel Clifton, Struthers; Kathleen Benner Dubie, "Bridging Beyond."

-Kristin Burnside, Canton; Alice Sebold, "The Lovely Bones."

OKLAHOMA

-Joey C. De Angelis, Tulsa; Jerry Spinelli, "Maniac Magee."

-Amy Tai, Tulsa; Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club."

-Sarah Gibson, Fort Gibson; Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities."

OREGON

-Latricia Shaw, Springfield; Dave Pelzer, "A Child Called It."

-Erica Berry, Portland; Cornelia Funke, "Inkheart."

-Rosemary Engelfried, Hillsboro; Lee Hammond, "Draw Horses."

PENNSYLVANIA

-Luke Edmondson, State College; Louis Sacher, "Holes."

-Kristen Soforic, Mt. Pleasant; Madeline L’Engle, "A Wrinkle in Time."

-Anna Eichner, Tarentum; J. M. Barrie, "Peter Pan."

RHODE ISLAND

-Angela Russo, West Greenwich; Wendelin Van Draanen, the Sammy Keyes books

-Katherine Zullo, North Kingston; Eireann Corrigan, "You Remind Me of You."

-Jennifer Plume, Riverside; J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

SOUTH CAROLINA

-Mallory Blackmon, Lancaster; Patricia Polacco, "Thank You, Mr. Faulker."

-Brittany Cash, Chesnee; Randy Powell, "Dean Duffy."

-Amy Zhang, Columbia; Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club."

SOUTH DAKOTA

-Lottie A. Grimshaw, Mission; Laura Ingalis Wilder, "The Little House on the Prairie" series.

-Paige Willett, Sioux Falls; Alan Zullo and Mara Bovsun, "Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust."

-Meaghan Downs, Presho; Emily Bronte, "Jane Eyre."

TENNESSEE

-Isabelle Todd, Memphis; Judy Blume, "Double Fudge."

-Natalie Jacewicz, Memphis; Daniel Keyes, "Flowers for Algernon."

-Becca Johnson, Memphis; Frank O’Hara, "Steps," from "Lunch Poems."

TEXAS

-Dulce Diaz, Garland; E.B. White, "Trumpet of the Swans."

-Charlie Minato, Piano; Walter Dean Myers, "Slam."

-Jeff Derbyshire, Bellaire; Leon Uris, "Trinity."

UTAH

-Shelby Nash, Murray; Jerry Spinelli, "Wringer."

-Spencer Thompson, Sandy; Lois Lowry, "The Giver."

-Weixin Le, Layton; Taylor Harman, The Color Code."

VIRGINIA

-Natalie Kim, McLean; Christopher Paul Curtis, "The Watsons Go To Birmingham."

-Kristin Lannetti, Norfolk; Dave Pelzer, "The Lost Boy."

-Hannah Danielle Pierce, Radford; Ellen Raskin, "The Westing Game."

WASHINGTON

-No category 1 winner.

-Jonathan Li, Seattle; Michael Crichton, "Prey."

-No category 3 winner.

WEST VIRGINIA

-Ian Lovern, Bluefield; George Orwell, "Animal Farm."

-Alison Lester, Princeton; J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit."

-Carolyn Garcia, Fairmont; Sharon Creech, " Bloomability."

WISCONSIN

-Lakshimi Varanasi, Racine; Gloria Whelan, "The Homeless Bird."

-Jada Straub, Wisconsin Rapids; Virginia Wolff, "Make Lemonade."

-Kira Libby, Shawano; Margery Williams, "The Velveteen Rabbit."

WYOMING

-Rebecca Thompson, Casper; Kate McMullan, "The Story of Harriet Tubman;"

-Katie Allegretto, Gillette; Laurie Halse Anderson, "Speak."

-Jesse Busch, Worland; Lois Lowry, "The Giver."

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PR 05-223
10/21/05
ISSN 0731-3527

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