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Press Release

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The Center for the Book at New Hampshire State Library

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary Russell, 603-271-2866
May 3, 2018

2018 Letters About Literature N.H. winners announced

The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library has announced the state’s winners in the 2018 Letters About Literature competition.

Stephanie Chambers of Alton, Brianna Leo of Milford and Julianna Kajka of Hampstead will each receive a $100 cash prize. Additionally, their letters were sent on as entries in the national Letters About Literature competition.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress which is coordinated in New Hampshire by the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library and is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Students are asked to write to a favorite author—past or present—describing how that author’s work changed the reader’s view of the world. Readers respond to the book they’ve read by exploring the personal relationship between themselves, the author and the book’s characters or themes. Readers may select authors, living or dead, from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. This is the fifteenth year that the Letters About Literature competition has been held in New Hampshire and the twenty-fifth year for Letters About Literature nationally.

This year, there were more than 42,000 Letters About Literature entries nationwide; 502 were from New Hampshire students. Judges selected 31 New Hampshire semi-finalists across three competition levels: Upper Elementary, Middle School and High School. State winners were selected from this group of outstanding letters. A full list of the New Hampshire semi-finalists is available at lal.nhbookcenter.org.

  • Julianna Kajka, a fifth grader at Hampstead Middle School, wrote 2018 Level I NH winning letter to Sara Pennypacker about her book “Pax”
  • Brianna Leo, a student at Milford Middle School, wrote about “Touching Spirit Bear” in the 2018 Level II NH winning letter to Ben Mikaelsen.
  • Stephanie Chambers, an eleventh grader at Prospect Mountain High School (Alton), wrote the 2018 Level III NH winning letter to Stephen Chbosky about “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

    National Letters About Literature winners will be announced in June by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

The mission of the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library is to celebrate and promote reading, books, literacy and the literary heritage of New Hampshire and to highlight the role that reading and libraries play in enriching the lives of the people of the Granite State. Participating in the national Letters About Literature program gives the Center for the Book an opportunity to celebrate the role of reading, and writing, in the lives of the hundreds of New Hampshire students who submitted letters across all three competition levels.

For the full text of the winning Letters About Literature entries, visit lal.nhbookcenter.org.


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