The Iowa Center for the Book has announced that two Iowa student readers received high honors in the National Letters About Literature writing contest. The two students, Hannah Huang of Ames and Josie Boyle of Farley, both won first place in the state contest which qualified them to move on to the national competition.
Sponsored by the Library of Congress, the prestigious national literary contest has student readers write a letter to an author of a book that has changed their view of themselves or their world.
Level 2 Iowa Winner Hannah Huang, an 8th grader from Ames Middle School, was one of two students to receive National Honors, just below first place, making her letter one of the top three in the country. Read Hannah’s letter to Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda on their book I Will Always Write Back.
Level 1 Iowa Winner Josie Boyle, a 5th grader from Drexler Middle School, was one of six students to have their letter make it to the second round of national judging. Read Josie’s letter to J.K. Rowling on the Harry Potter series.
“This is a huge and well-deserved honor for both the students and their teachers, we are very excited that Iowa has continued to do well in the National Letters About Literature competition,” said Helen Dagley, coordinator of the Iowa Center for the Book.
Just under 50,000 nationwide entries were received by the Library of Congress for the 2016 competition with Iowa students submitting 1,867 letters, making the achievements by both students an outstanding accomplishment. In 12 years of participation, Iowa has had five national winners.
For more information on the Letters About Literature program, and to read letters from the other Iowa winners and honorable mentions, go to http://www.iowacenterforthebook.org/letters/winners/2016/2016-LAL.