Press contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public contact:Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

September 26, 2006

Library of Congress Announces National Winners in "Letters About Literature" Program

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Target Stores have announced the national winners of the 2006 “Letters About Literature” reading and writing program.

The winners are: Philip Brockman, Thompson, N.D.; Britney Titensor, Thayne, Wyo.; Lacie Craven, Bucks Harbor, Maine; Sophia Harrington, West Hartford, Conn.; Jeehyun Choi, St. Paul, Minn.; and Martha Park, Memphis, Tenn.

More than 48,000 young readers in grades 4-12 participated in this year’s program, which encourages young people to read, be inspired and write to an author – past or present – who has somehow changed their view of the world or of themselves. Students compete in one of three competition levels: elementary school, grades 4-6; middle school, grades 7-8; and high school, grades 9-12.

“Created more than 15 years ago, ‘Letters About Literature’ is the Center for the Book’s premier reading motivation program for young people,” said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book. “With support from Target, which became the program’s sponsor two years ago, we’ve been able to reach out to more schools and students nationwide.”

The six national winners, chosen among the state winners, will take part in the National Book Festival on Sept. 30, where they will read their winning letters in the festival’s “Teens & Children” pavilion.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its activities and national reading promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook.

Target sponsors “Letters About Literature” as part of its national reading initiative, “Ready. Sit. Read!,” which is aimed at fostering a love of reading among children at an early age. Since opening its first store in 1962, Target has partnered with nonprofit organizations, guests and team members to help meet community needs.

More information about “Letters About Literature,” including the forthcoming 2007 competition, may be found at www.loc.gov/letters.

2006 NATIONAL WINNERS

Elementary School, grades 4-6:
Philip Brockman, Thompson, N.D. – who wrote to Michael Crichton, author of “Sphere”
Britney Titensor, Thayne, Wyo. – who wrote to Deborah Ellis, author of “The Breadwinner”

Middle School, grades 7-8:
Lacie Craven, Bucks Harbor, Maine – who wrote to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of “The Yearling”
Sophia Harrington, West Hartford, Conn. – who wrote to Peter Jenkins, author of “Walk Across America”

High School, grades 9-12:
Jeehyun Choi, St. Paul, Minn. – who wrote to Peter Hedges, author of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”
Martha Park, Memphis, Tenn. – who wrote to J.D. Salinger, author of “The Catcher in the Rye”

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PR 06-180
09/26/06
ISSN 0731-3527

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