September 13, 2013 National Book Festival Summer Writing Contest Winners Announced

Press Contact: Jennifer Gavin, (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Lola Pyne, (202) 707-3128

The “A Book That Shaped Me” Library of Congress National Book Festival Summer Writing Contest, a program that asks rising 5th and 6th graders to reflect on a book that has made a personal impact in their lives, has announced its 2013 winners.

More than 300 young readers submitted essays to participating public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region in this, the second year of the contest. Launched in 2012 with the D.C. Public Library, “A Book That Shaped Me” expanded with the help of public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The local libraries offered the contest as part of their summer reading programs.

Five finalists per state were chosen in an initial round of judging. The finalists each will receive a $50 gift-card prize. That judging was conducted by members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The AASL works to ensure all elementary- and secondary-school librarians participate as collaborative partners in the teaching and learning process.

The grand-prize judging round, which selected state and grand-prize winners from the pool of state finalists, was conducted by a panel assembled by the Library of Congress that included educators, children’s authors, and Library of Congress staff.

Each state winner will receive another $50 gift-card prize and have travel costs covered to attend the Library of Congress National Book Festival. The first-, second-, and third- place grand-prize winners will be awarded additional gift-card prizes in the amounts of $200, $150, and $100 respectively.

Grand-prize winners will read their essays during the “A Book That Shaped Me” presentation at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. The contest presentation will take place on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 at noon in the Special Programs Pavilion.

Grand Prize & State Winners

1st Place Grand Prize & Virginia State Winner
Sofie Dalton, Arlington Public Library who wrote about “The Penderwicks” by Jeanne Birdsall

2nd Place Grand Prize and Washington, D.C. Winner
Jessica Holloway, DC Public Library - Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Library, who wrote about “Jefferson’s Sons” by Kimberly Bradley

3rd Place Grand Prize and Delaware State Winner
Julian Jackson, II, Brandywine Hundred Library, who wrote about “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis

Maryland State Winner
Gavriel Eagle, Enoch Pratt Free Library, who wrote about “The Mozart Season” by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Pennsylvania State Winner
Victoria Sullivan, Abington Township Public Library – Abington Free Library who wrote about “Electric Dreams” by Caroline Kettlewell

West Virginia State Winner
Shelby Rayne Freeman, South Charleston Public Library, who wrote about “Ten Rules for Living with my Sister” by Ann M. Martin

State Finalists (winners indicated by asterisks)

Washington, D.C. Finalists
Anu Hansa Desai, DC Public Library – Palisades Library
Grace Dodd, DC Public Library – Southeast Library
Jessica Holloway *, DC Public Library - Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Library
Eleanor Holt, DC Public Library – Southwest Library
TaKayla Keys, DC Public Library – Capitol View Library

Maryland Finalists
Naomi Barnett, Prince George's County Memorial Library System – Upper Marlboro
Gavriel Eagle*, Enoch Pratt Free Library
Madison Mohan, Enoch Pratt Free Library
Isaiah Olujide, Prince George's County Memorial Library System – Upper Marlboro
Catherine Jing Troaino - Prince George's County Memorial Library System – Hyattsville

Virginia Finalists
Sofie Dalton*, Arlington Public Library
Gabriella Handford, Fauquier County Public Library
George Layton, Prince William Public Library System – Nokesville Neighborhood Library
Abigail Spigarelli, Arlington Public Library
Elizabeth Sullivan, Prince William Public Library System - Bull Run Regional Library

Delaware Finalists
Sarah Gessner, Brandywine Hundred Library
Julian Jackson, II*, Brandywine Hundred Library
Rebekkah Kehoe, Brandywine Hundred Library
Ryan McCrea, Dover Public Library
Nicole Ng, Brandywine Hundred Library

Pennsylvania Finalists
Clara Allem, Chester County Library System – Chester County Library
Tom Broadhurst, Parkland Community Library
Jaime Elizabeth Daniels, York County Libraries – Red Land Community Library
Mallika D. Pal, Bethlehem Area Public Library
Victoria Sullivan,* Abington Township Public Library – Abington Free Library

West Virginia Finalists
Shelby Rayne Freeman*, South Charleston Public Library
Cheyene Hitchcock, Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library
Addie Hughes, Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library
Finnian Mungovan, Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library
Justin Roberts, Roane County Library

The detailed list of current and previous winners along with more information about the program is available at For further details,

The Library of Congress National Book Festival, now in its 13th year, gathers more than 100 authors for readers of all ages to offer talks, Q&A, and book-signings. The festival, which drew more than 200,000 fans in 2012, will be presented free of charge on the National Mall on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 22 from noon to 5:30 p.m. For more information, go to

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through its website,


PR 13-163
ISSN 0731-3527