In 2018-2019, 1,617 Texas students entered the Letters About Literature Contest. Congratulations to all the winners. First place winners advanced to national judging. Two Texans received honorable mentions!
All fourth-12th graders are invited to participate! Read a book or poem, and write a letter. You could be on this list! For more information about the contest, see the Letters About Literature page.
Teachers, librarians, parents, neighbors, and beyond— please share this opportunity and cultivate a love of reading. As you will read in the winners’ entries, this contest takes words off pages, creates a heart connection to story, and organically cultivates lifelong readers.
Level I - Grades 4 Through 6
1st Place Winner: Asha Blewett - from Addison, TX
Read Asha's letter about "Moon at Nine" by Deborah Ellis
"If you took one good look at me, you would see a petite, overlooked twelve-year old girl struggling to find her own path.”
2nd Place Winner: Chloe Nguyen - from Addison, TX
Read Chloe's letter about "Out of My Mind" by Sharon Draper
"Don’t stare. Don’t look. Don’t wave. Those were a few of the things that I would tell myself when I saw a child with a disability before I read your book, Out of My Mind."
3rd Place Winner: Lukas Palys - from Addison, TX
Read Lukas's letter about "The City of Ember" by Jeanne DuPrau
"I thought your book was going to be like every other book I’d ever read, but it wasn’t. The City of Ember taught me to be positive during difficult times, that you need to take risks in life to be successful, that you need to know yourself well enough to control your feelings, and that you always need to find the light inside yourself to be happy."
Level II Grades 7-8
1st Place Winner: Danielle Weatherwax - from Dallas, TX
Read Danielle's letter about "Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas
"I often feel as if I have to put on a mask and become someone else to be viewed as “socially acceptable.” I must toe the line between myself and diplomacy, be just nice enough, just quiet enough, to pass for another ‘normal’ person. Celaena’s character in Throne of Glass resonated with me like no character had before."
2nd Place Winner: Rachel Herskovits - from Dallas, TX
Read Rachel's letter about "When Mama Wore a Hat" by Eleanor Schick
"I wish you could see how much you and your book “When Mama Wore a Hat,” helped me as a seven-year-old. It’s just a children’s book, but it had so much more meaning to my young self than it would have for any other happy little seven year old."
3rd Place Winner: Simon Sy - from Edinburg, TX
Simon wrote his letter about "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
Level III Grades 9-12
1st Place Winner: Evelyn Wilson - from Houston, TX
Read Evelyn's letter about "Turtles All the Way Down" by John Green Ellis
“Last Christmas Eve, I had a panic attack on the floor of my laundry room.”
2nd Place Winner: Haley A. Jústiz - from Austin, TX
Haley wrote her letter about "The Lux" series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
3rd Place Winner: Colby Menefee - from Buffalo, TX
Read Colby's letter about "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
"Last spring I walked my niece to her tee-ball practice at the park each week. As we approached the practice area one afternoon, I saw a dad practicing with his son. As we got closer, I could hear the dad yelling at his son for missing the pitch."