This is a great opportunity for 5th and 6th grade students, and the competition has not gotten a lot of notice as far as we can tell. So, here are the details. Pass the news along, please!
To mention just a few of the novels we read back in those pre-teen years which surprised, delighted, inspired, educated, or challenged us:
- Dandelion Wine (Ray Bradbury)
- Anything Mark Twain ever wrote
- Little Women and the rest of the books in the series (Louisa May Alcott)
- The Wizard of Oz books (all of them)
- Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
- Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll)
- The Call of the Wild (Jack London)
- Dune (Frank Herbert)
- Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert Heinlein)
Happily, we could go on and on. Which is one of the reasons why it made us so sad when we read some of the findings in the latest Common Sense Media research results on the reading habits of children and teens. These results indicate younger children often read for pleasure, but older children and teens do not: " in 2012 approximately half (53%) of all 9-year-olds, a quarter (27%) of all 13-year-olds, and one in five (19%) 17-year-olds read for fun almost every day." Read the entire study.
Back to the details on the essay contest:
Rising 5th and 6th Graders Asked to Write About A Book That Shaped Me
The Library of Congress has launched its annual summer essay contest in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region encouraging rising 5th- and 6th-grade students to reflect on books which have made a personal impact on the students' lives. Students entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall of 2014 are eligible. Essays, focused on a single book, should be one page in length and must be submitted with an entry form, in person, at participating public library locations. The deadline for entries is Monday, August 11, 2014.
The A Book That Shaped Me Summer Writing Contest is administered as part of summer reading programs at participating public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Top winners will be honored during a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, October 18, 2014. All students who enter the contest will be able to redeem a free contest prize pack at the Library of Congress National Book Festival, which will take place August 30, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
"A Book That Shaped Me" will award prizes to five finalists and one winner per state, and to three overall grand-prize winners. The three grand-prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges assembled by the Library of Congress including educators, children’s authors, and Library of Congress staff.
Submission forms are available at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., or at participating public library locations. The list of participating libraries, more information, and program updates will be available at www.loc.gov/bookfest/kids-teachers/booksthatshape/.
Launched in 2012 with the D.C. Public Library, A Book That Shaped Me has since expanded throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with the help of public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. More than 300 public libraries are registered to participate in this, the third program year. Public library systems in these states may sign up through May 31, 2014 by contacting BooksShapeContest@loc.gov for program details.
The Library kicked off the 2014 contest as part of its Children’s Book Week event featuring Lois Lowry, Newbery Medal-winning writer of "The Giver." Children's Book Week is sponsored by the Children's Book Council, which is a reading-promotion partner of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through the organization's Web site at www.loc.gov.