New Hampshire's 2011 LAL winners have been selected from the 47 wonderful letters that were chosen as our state semi-finalists.
Drew L. Stetson, a fifth grader at Stratham Memorial School, wrote a letter to Robert Frost about his nature poems, which was the Granite State’s first place winner in the level I competition for students in grades 4 through 6. “When sunshine glistens through the green leaves of trees and white fluffy clouds hang in the sky,” Stetson wrote, “I feel upbeat. When the sky is a sheet of gray and it is cold, bleak, and desolate, I feel down and lazy. This must happen to you too, because your poems describe this feeling quite well.”
Erin Angel Choate, a seventh grader at Lisbon Regional, wrote to David Pelzer about A Child Called It. In her letter, Ms. Choate recounted a difficult time in her life similar to the situation depicted in Pelzer’s book, and thanked Pelzer for helping her to realize she wasn’t alone. “By writing this letter, I am chancing the public realizing that I have been abused, even though most people probably already know. I don’t care. Your book has made that possible.” Ms. Choate’s letter was the Granite State’s first place winner in the level II competition for students in grades 7 and 8.
Jake Tinkham, a twelfth grader at Gilford High School, wrote his letter, which was the Granite State’s level III first place winner, to Brian Jacques. “The Redwall Series inspired me to think imaginatively and also to express my creative side to others,” wrote Mr. Tinkham, who expressed a strong desire to follow in Jacques’s footsteps. “Some day I hope to write fantasy novels capable of capturing the reader in the same way that your work once captivated me.”
Many excellent letters were entered in Letters About Literature 2011 and the judges at each competition level had tough choices to make as they read and carefully considered each letter. The New Hampshire winning letters have been sent on as entries in the National Letters About Literature Competition.
The 2011 New Hampshire Letters About Literature judges were:
- Ann Hoey, Youth Services Coordinator, NH State Library
- Author Marty Kelley
- Poet, and NH Center for the Book Advisory Board member, Betsy Snider
- Maureen Brown, an English teacher at Goffstown High School
- Andrew L. Fersch, 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Epping Middle School
- Lesley Kimball, Library Director, Wiggin Memorial Library