Letter-writer I picked wins national writing competition!

>> Thursday, June 11, 2009

A few months back I was one of a few authors asked by Humanities Tennessee to judge student letters submitted in the Center for the Book's Letters about Literature contest. Each student writes a letter to an author of his or her choice, explaining how one of the author's books meant something special to or had an impact on the student's life.

I judged Level I: Grades 4-6, and chose 12-year-old Caroline Hoskins' letter to Cynthia Lord, the author of Newbery Honor-winning Rules, as the best letter in her age group. Today, I learned that Caroline's letter has won the national competition in her age level too! Congratulations, Caroline! I'm thrilled to play a part in your amazing accomplishment!

Here's Caroline's letter, reprinted from the Humanities Tennessee page:

Dear Cynthia Lord,

It often seems to me that nobody understands my problems, that I am the only one in the world who has difficulties, and I am trapped in a cement box with no way out. Reading your book Rules helped me look at these situations in a different light.

Just like Catherine in Rules, I have a sibling with Autism. Just like Catherine, for pretty much all of my life, I have had to face therapy sessions, sacrifices, and being embarrassed to have my friends meet my sister, Julia. I was worried that Julia would make my friends think I was weird. All the time, people of all ages would come up to me and ask me the same question: "Are you Julia's older sister?" This really bothered me. I felt like a nobody in a world circulating around Julia. It seemed to me that I didn't have my own identity. I told myself that I didn't care, but I lied. Reading Rules helped me realize that I am not the only person in the world that has these kinds of problems.

No, the therapy won't stop. No, I won't ever stop sacrificing, but after reading your book, I realized that having Julia as a sister is amazing, and I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. I realized that if my friends can't accept my sister as she is, then they aren't really my friends. But most importantly, I realized that I am my own person. My identity is not "Julia's older sister." I am Caroline Hoskins. I am me.

Thank you, Cynthia Lord, for writing such a beautiful story that includes problems that kids these days actually face. You are an amazing author, and Rules is a simply wonderful story. It helped me through my problems, and I am positive it helps kids all over the world every day.

Yours Truly,

Caroline Hoskins

Caroline's letter beat out almost 55,000 other letters to win a $10,000 community grant provided by Target. Way to go, Caroline!


Post a Comment

Hello! Thanks for dropping by our blog. Feel free to agree or disagree with us, or just chime in with moral support. We leave most everything, but we of course reserve the right to delete anything that's needlessly nasty, profane, or spam. Now, if you'll just insert your two cents into the slot below...

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Read Alan's archived newsletters here.

Blog Archive

Swell Stuff

My Etsy Favorites

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP