Letters About Literature
"The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores and in cooperation with affiliate state centers for the book, invited readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers wrote a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre-- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves."

Mrs. Haupt, our school librarian, brought this very exciting contest opportunity to our attention. Each student in my class composed a letter to a favorite author and we sent our contest entries on their way. 

It is my privilege to announce:
976 students entered letters for Level I of the 2008 contest (4th-6th grade).
50 of the 976 letters were chosen by the national screening committee as the top 50 in Pennsylvania.
2 letters of those 50 were from our class!!
Congratulations to Sarah and Alexis!!

A special thank-you to Mrs. Haupt for her collaborative efforts!! 
We appreciated her guidance and suggestions as we composed our ideas!
Click HERE to read Sarah's letter chosen by the national screening committee
Click HERE to read Alexis' letter chosen by the national screening committee
December 2007

Dear Mrs. Henry,
        I read your book Brighty of the Grand Canyon.  I found I really resemble that little burro, even though he is a burro. I’ve always thought that I live in my own world. Apparently it’s Brighty’s world, too.  I am as adventurous as Brighty. If I were to live in the Grand Canyon I would love to run around and be free. I have really become attached to the people that I know and love just like Brighty had become really attached to Old Timer. When I am in time of regret I just go with the flow. As human as I am and as burro-like as Brighty is, we are very similar. 
        Brighty and I not only resemble each other in a way of our feelings and characteristics, but the problems we have are similar. I recently lost a very close friend and am struggling to find people I can hang out with and now with those wounds almost healed, I wait for a miracle.  I now understand, after reading your book, that what I’m doing will take not just waiting, but a strong push from myself to go on. Now I know that if Brighty, as a burro, can find a friend to replace Old Timer, I can do it, too. Now I still don’t really have any real close friends, but I am making normal friends on the way there. 
        I, again, resemble the great piece of work that is your writing. I barely, but do resemble it in a way of its setting. I resemble the setting because even though I don’t live in or anywhere near the Grand Canyon, Pennsylvania is an open area and the little things about my home make it similar. For instance I am always in a place where almost everyone loves and cares for me, or at least has some kind of feelings for me (that’s another way that I’m slowly making a best friend.)  I can have every single type of fun in my home or on my land. I bet everything I can do Brighty can do, too. 
        You really made me use my brain because you created a story that was quite long (222 pages to be exact.)  There was also a lot of different people and plots so it was hard to keep my mind on what was happening then and there.  The toughest thing that you did in your writing that made it tough to read is when you use the word “ain’t” and other cowboy-like words. I kept trying to switch those cowboy-like words back into their correct form.
        Your story really touched my heart in a way of the bond between all living things. This story also was sad and sadly filled with lots of pain. Even though this story was partially not true, most of the story is true. The way all, or most of the story really makes me thankful.  I always feel like your stories touch my heart.

From a reader of your stories,

December 2007

Dear Mrs. Levine, 
        I chose your book The Two Princesses of Bamarre because I feel like I am one of those princesses in your book. I am an only child and sometimes I feel like I am a princess. My family always spoils me. At Christmas I always get a lot of presents. I also feel like I am one of the princesses because I am usually brave give or take the situation. I care for my friends and stand up for them too. I also have loving parents just like both of the princesses in your story. They care for you and leaving them would break my heart too. Sometimes I also feel like I am invisible to some of my teachers when I try to talk to them like the princess snuck right out with out anybody seeing her.
        The problem in the story was hard on the princess in your book. I have to face fright just like the princess in your book. Fright is common and fright is not a good feeling. Being in the woods at night is not a good feeling. Having the feeling that something is out there, like a bear or a fox or something that wants to eat you, is scary.  I am sure that the princess that was out in the woods all alone and being frightened by the ghost-like people that can form into anybody and wants to kill you was also scary.
        Another problem that I have in common is that I have had family die and I know what the feeling is when your family died or is going to in your book. It is a horrible feeling that sticks to you and you can’t forget it and it feels like you have to do something. 
        The setting is just like where I live. I live in the woods and it is exactly the setting in your book. I have bullies in my school that would tease you and would want to hurt you or hurt your feelings. It is kind of like those ghosts that can change into people and then they want to kill you. I consider those bullies. I also have friends that care for me and help me through the way when the hard times come. Just like the villagers that helped the princess. I also have helpers that can guide you through life and are there to help you when you need advice. Those are teachers, just like the wizard that gave the princess the tools that really helped her.
The book really challenges my brain by making me really think about all the problems that the princess had and what I would do in that situation. Like when she got stuck in the dragon lair and she had to con the dragon out of the cave. I would probably freak out if I were she. 
        The book really touched my heart by all the things the poor princess had to go through and she had no idea what she was doing in the first place. She had to go through a lot of roughness to get to where she got. The love and care for her sister really made me want to have a sister to share memories like that. 

Thanks for reading my letter,



This page was last updated: October 22, 2015