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Public Information and Communication

April 4, 2008

Mary Jo Ryan

Young Nebraskans Win State Writing Competition

Gov. Dave Heineman honored Nebraska student writers by presenting them with Letters about Literature award certificates and signing a proclamation announcing April 13-19, 2008, as National Library Week in Nebraska. Students recognized for their letters to influential authors were:


Ellen Friesen, of Lincoln, for Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry

Itahi Sanchez, of Lincoln, for Please Hear What I'm Not Saying, by Charles Finn

Andrew Squires, of Lincoln, for Prison Writings: My Life Is my Sun Dance, by Leonard Peltier

Alternate Winners

Carol Fisher, of North Platte, for Eragon, by Christopher Paolini

Wyatt Nelson, of Lincoln, for Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell

Amanda Ferguson, of North Platte, for Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank

Young readers across the country participated in this year's Letters about Literature competition, a reading promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores. In Nebraska, the contest is coordinated by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Center for the Book, with additional support from Lee Booksellers and Houchen Bindery Ltd. These young readers wrote a personal letter to an author explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. They selected authors from any genre-fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. Nebraska winners were chosen from three competition levels: upper elementary, middle school, and secondary. Nebraska finalists were honored at a luncheon and received cash prizes, gift certificates, and gift cards to Target Stores and Lee Booksellers. They will advance to the national competition, with a chance to win an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D. C. for themselves and their parents. For more information see, search on Letters about Literature.


Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state's readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.


As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information. The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission home page,, search on News Releases.

For more information, contact Tessa Terry.