August 31, 2017 National Book Festival Summer Writing Contest Winners Announced
Press Contact: Lola Pyne (202) 707-3128
Public Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073
The Library of Congress today announced the winners of its A Book That Shaped Me: Letters About Literature Summer Writing Contest, a program that asks rising fifth- and sixth-graders to reflect on a book that has made a personal impact in their lives.
More than 300 young readers submitted essays to participating public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region in this sixth year of the contest. Launched in 2012 with the DC 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.
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. 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" awards presentation at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. The contest presentation will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at 11:50 a.m. at the Children’s Green Stage and will be emceed by Eun Yang, NBC4 Washington television anchor.
Grand Prize & State Winners
1st Place Grand Prize & Virginia State Winner
Suzahn Vollstad, Prince William Public Library, who wrote about “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” by W. Bruce Cameron
2nd Place Grand Prize Winner
Isla Rodriguez, Richmond Public Library – Ginter Park Library, who wrote about “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly.
3rd Place Grand Prize & Pennsylvania State Winner
Megan S. Garrabrant, Bucks County Free Library System – Langhorne Branch, who wrote about “Courage to Soar” by Simone Biles.
Delaware State Winner
Molly Amerling, Frankford Public Library (of Sussex County Department of Libraries), who wrote about “The Journey” by Francesca Sanna.
Maryland State Winner
Lily Luther, Montgomery County Public Library, who wrote about “Smile” by Raina Telgemeier.
Washington, D.C., Winner
Safya Biswal, DC Public Library – Northeast Library, who wrote about “Pax" by Sara Pennypacker.
West Virginia State Winner
Alexander Irby, Cabell County Public Library – Gallaher Village Public Library, who wrote about “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" by J.K. Rowling.
State Finalists (winners indicated by asterisks)
District of Columbia Finalists
* Safya Biswal, DC Public Library – Northeast Library
Nekole Isaac, DC Public Library
Sienna Morgan, DC Public Library
Rushi Jain, Montgomery County Public Library – Germantown Public Library
* Lily Luther, Montgomery County Public Library
Josiah Main, Montgomery County Public Library
Raniya Najih, Montgomery County Public Library
Sidney D. Robinson, Montgomery County Public Library
Devin Dunn, Alexandria Library - Beatley Central Library
Lucy Garfield, Prince William Public Library System
Olivia Hana Lee, Prince William Public Library System – Montclair Public Library
Isla Rodriguez, Richmond Public Library – Ginter Park Library
* Suzahn Vollstad, Prince William Public Library System
* Molly Amerling, Frankford Public Library (of Sussex County Department of Libraries)
Catherine Cole, New Castle County – Kirkwood Library
Kestra Cole, New Castle County – Brandywine Hundred Library
Maggie Clarke-Fields, New Castle County – Brandywine Hundred Library
Kate McGowan, Delaware Library System – Dover Public Library
Shannon Connor, Indian Valley Public Library
* Megan S. Garrabrant, Bucks County Free Library System – Langhorne Branch
Isabella Peli, York County – Guthrie Memorial Library
Annabelle Troup, Bucks County Free Library System – Quakertown
Eliana Whing, York County – Collinsville Community Library
West Virginia Finalists
Kathryn Bell, Cabell County Public Library
Brooke Hayden Carey, Cabell County Library
Alivia Harley, Putnam County Library
* Alexander Irby, Cabell County Public Library – Gallaher Village Public Library
Kaylee J. Polk, Putnam County Library
The detailed list of current and previous winners, along with more information about the "A Book That Shaped Me" program, is available at loc.gov/bookfest/kids-teachers/booksthatshape/. For further details, contact [email protected].
The Library of Congress National Book Festival, now in its 17th year, will gather more than 100 authors for readers of all ages to offer talks, Q&As and book-signings. The festival will be presented free of charge at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. For more information, visit loc.gov/bookfest/.
The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Charter Sponsors include the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The James Madison Council, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsor is the National Endowment for the Arts; the Contributor-level sponsors are Thomas V. Girardi, Beverly and Lyman Hamilton, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Scholastic Inc. and the Junior League of Washington; and, in the Friends category, Booklovers Circle members, Candlewick Press, Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., Democracy Fund, Joseph and Lynn Deutsch, Embassy of Ireland, Embassy of Sweden, The Hay-Adams, J.J. Medveckis Foundation, Mensa Foundation, the Mexican Cultural Institute, Timothy and Diane Naughton, Reading Is Fundamental, the Nora Roberts Foundation, Patricia Glass Schuman and Vincent Civello, Small Press Expo (SPX), Split This Rock and the White House Historical Association. Media Partners are C-SPAN2’s Book TV, NPR and PBS Book View Now. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at [email protected].
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