Personal tools
You are here: Home Dear Kate DiCamillo: "Your book taught me to never stop loving...you can't let sadness and regret govern your life."

Dear Kate DiCamillo: "Your book taught me to never stop loving...you can't let sadness and regret govern your life."

— filed under:

Iowa Announces 2014 Letters About Literature Winners!

Dear Kate DiCamillo: "Your book taught me to never stop loving...you can't let sadness and regret govern your life."

Quinton Jenkins, First Place Winner Level 3 "Dear Ben Carson"

Dear Ben Carson: "I felt as if the walls of the world were slowly caving in on me. These walls left me helpless and drained every ounce of hope I tried so desperately to cling to. This was my life, until one strong man showed me the way."

Dear Barbara Park: "Thank you for helping me get through the most difficult time in my life. And thank you for strengthening the bond between my mother and me."

"They write from their hearts, addressing such issues as loss of loved ones, bullying, being different whether culturally, physically or racially; or the pains of just growing up," said Robin Martin, Coordinator for the Iowa Center for the Book.

After three rounds of judging at the national and state level, eighteen students have been named Iowa winners in the prestigious national Letters About Literature literary contest sponsored by the Library of Congress and the Iowa Center for the Book. Students write a letter to an author of a book that changed their worldview or view of themselves.

"Iowa continues to be at the forefront in promoting the reflective reading and writing required by this contest," said Martin. 1,931 Iowa students entered the contest this year. 161 letters were returned to Iowa for further judging. First place winners in each category will compete at the national level with winners from each of the 52 state and territories that participate annually. In the ten years of participation, Iowa has had four national winners.  A celebration of winners was held April 25th at the Des Moines Public Library where students read their letters and heard from the Honorable Terry E. Branstad, Governor of Iowa.

Winners letters can be found here.

Level 1:  Grades 4-6

First Place
Mikayla Weese who wrote Michael Buckley about "Sisters Grimm"
Teacher:  Kathleen Charlson,  Gilbert Middle School

Second Place
Megan Higgins who wrote Veronica Roth about "Divergent"  
Teacher:  Tena Nelson,  Fairfield Middle School

Third Place
Lily Pumphrey who wrote Kate DeCamillo about "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane"
Teacher:  Christy Roozeboom,  Jefferson Intermediate School - Pella

Honorable Mentions
5th Grader who wrote Janet Lee Carey about "Wenny Has Wings"
Teacher:  Mitzi Hetherton,  Lawson Elementary School -  Johnston

Matthew Kruse who wrote Mike Lupica about "Long Shot"
Teacher:  Amy Unmacht,  Eisenhower Elementary School - Dubuque

Devika Pharasi who wrote Chris Van Allsburg about "The Polar Express"
Teacher:  Tena Nelson,  Fairfield Middle School

Level 2:  Grades 7-8

First Place
Ellie Ball who wrote J.R.R. Tolkien about "The Lord of the Rings"   
Teacher:  Patricia Hogan,  St. Augustine School – Des Moines

Second Place
Kennedy Wilson who wrote Jerry Spinelli about "Stargirl"
Teacher:  Nancy Cole,  Franklin Middle School - Cedar Rapids

Third Place
8th grader who wrote about David Levithan about "Every Day"
Teacher:  Nancy Cole,  Franklin Middle School - Cedar Rapids

Honorable Mentions
Hayden Pritchard who wrote Scott Westerfield about "Extras"
Teacher:  Jayne Staniforth,  Ames Middle School

Sibani Ram who wrote John Green about "The Fault in Our Stars"
Teacher Mallory O'Neill, Washington JHS - Dubuque

Deeksha Sarda who wrote Betty McDonald about "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle"
Teacher:   Jayne Staniforth,  Ames Middle School

Level 3 Grades:  9-12

First Place
Quinton Jenkins who wrote Ben Carson about "Gifted Hands"
Teacher:  Kristy Stills, Carlisle High School

Second Place
Aaron Olson who wrote Barbara Park about "Junie B. Jones"
Teacher:  Kristy Stills, Carlisle High School

Third Place
Emily Delleman who wrote Theodor Seuss Geisel about "Oh the Places You’ll Go"
Teacher:  Gail Heninger,  Davenport Central High School

Honorable Mentions
Sarah Menzel who wrote J. K. Rowling about "The Harry Potter Series"
Individual Entry – Des Moines

Brianna Stoever who wrote Katherine Paterson about "Bridge to Terabithia"
Teacher:  Kristy Stills, Carlisle High School

10th Grader who wrote Lou Gehrig about his "Farewell Speech"
Teacher:  Lisa Pope,  Clear Lake High School


Document Actions