Monday, June 20, 2011

Letters About Literature

I was recently asked to speak at RI Center for the Book's annual meeting where the 2011 Letters about Literature winners were announced.

It was an exciting evening, held at the State Office Building in Providence. John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, handed out awards to students from across the state who had written letters about their favorite books. Winners had been chosen by a selection committee made up of librarians and authors.

What an evening! The program is a national program where approximately 70,000 young readers from across the country write letters to their favorite authors.

Students are asked:

"How has an author's work--novel, nonfiction, poetry--changed your view of the world or yourself? What did you learn about yourself that you didn't realize before reading the author's work? Don't write a book report. The author already wrote the book and knows what happened. What the author doesn't know is how you reacted while reading the book. Write about that--your response in a reflective, personal letter to the author! That is the LAL writing challenge."

Winners and Honorable Mentions in Rhode Island were:
Level 1 Winner: Isobel McCullough, Wakefield
Level 1 Honorable Mentions: Maddy Murphy, Barrington and Alex Wilson, Hope Valley
Level 2 Winner: Jessica Bellows, Coventry
Level 2 Honorable Mentions: Delaney Burke and Julia DeAngelis, Scituate; Emily Gleason, Portsmouth
Level 3 Winner: Grace Perkins,Portsmouth
Level 3 Honorable Mentions: Danielle Kubicsko, Westerly and Katelyn St. Laurent, Smithfield
Read this year's winning letters at

Thank you to the RI Center for the Book for inviting me to such a special evening. And thank you for taking The Wonder of Charlie Anne to the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, last fall. I can tell you that Charlie Anne had a wonderful time!