More than 50,000 young readers (grades 4 through 12) participated in the Library of Congress’ Letters About Literature program. Each participant was tasked with writing a letter to an author (living or deceased) about how one of their books affected them.
According to the press release, this “initiative is a reading-promotion program of the Center for the Book, with the goal of instilling a lifelong love of reading in the nation’s youth.” Below, we’ve posted the full list of winners and honors.
Level 1 (Grades 4 to 6)
National Prize: Gerel Sanzhikov of New Jersey’s letter focused on The Running Dream by Wendell Van Draanen.
National Honor Award: Chelsea Brown of Virginia’s letter focused on Shades of Black by Sandra L. Pinkney.
Level 2 (Grades 7 to 8)
National Prize: Gabriel Ferris of Maine’s letter focused on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
National Honor Award (three-way tie): Emmy Goyette of New Hampshire’s letter focused on Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Jonathan Hoff of New Jersey’s letter focused on Maus by Art Spiegelman.
Julianna Gorman of Maryland’s letter focused on Night by Elie Wiesel.
Level 3 (Grades 9 to 12)
National Prize: Aidan Kingwell of Illinois’ letter focused on the Mary Oliver poem “When Death Comes.”
National Honor Award (tied between two participants): Lisa Le of the District of Columbia’s focused on The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
Hannah DesChamp of Oregon’s letter focused on the Pablo Neruda poem “I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You.”