June Winners

M.T. Anderson

Grades 3-5 (Level II)

Everyone needs some "alone time" or time to himself now and then. In M.T. Anderson's picture book, Me All Alone at the End of the World, a boy lives a very happy and peaceful life all alone at the End of the World. If you had a day all to yourself — with no teachers, family or friends around — what would you do? On this day, you can be anywhere you like, but you are by yourself. You also have to spend at least part of your day outside. Write a journal or diary entry that describes your good day and how you felt about spending it alone. You can include drawings that highlight your day's activities if you like.

  • Winner
    If I Had a Day to Myself
    by Caylee W.
    Bokeelia, FL

Grades 6-8 (Level III)

In this interview with AdLit.org, M.T. Anderson talks about why books sometimes get banned. When books get challenged, banned or removed from library shelves, it is because adults have decided that the subject matter or language is unsuitable for young readers. Imagine that your school library has been asked to remove a book. It may be because it includes inappropriate or offensive language, mature themes, or another reason. Write a persuasive letter to your school board about how you feel about why this book should not be banned or why you think it should not be included in your school library.

  • Winner
    by Jenny B.
    San Gabriel, CA

Grades 9-12 (Level IV)

M.T. Anderson was the former music critic at The Improper Bostonian. There's a lot of ground to cover when you write about music. First, it is like you're almost translating from another language, turning sound into words so that readers can understand your listening experience. But you also need to convey mood and meaning and how the music and the performance makes the writer feel. Write a review of music you've listened to recently. Your goal is to inspire the judges to try the music for themselves or at least wish they'd seen the show.

  • Winner
    by Alexa V.
    Jacksonville, FL

Linda Sue Park

Grades 6-8 (Level III)

Park's books are a window into her native Korean culture. Tap Dancing on the Roof is a lively introduction to sijo (pronounced see-zhoo), an ancient Korean verse form similar to haiku but with a different structure — and a distinctive witty twist at the end. For this challenge you will write your own sijo, about a very ordinary topic. In Tap Dancing, Parks breathes life into everyday subjects like breakfast, thunder and lightning, houseplants, pockets — even freshly laundered socks!

  • Winner
    Water Fight
    by Michelle D.
    Springfield, MO

Grades 9-12 (Level IV)

Park is a gifted writer of historical fiction. She weaves together powerful storytelling with a deep interest in Korean history to create timeless stories like her Newbery winner A Single Shard (set in the 12th century), Kite Flyers (15th century), and Seesaw Girl (17th century). In this challenge, you will choose a time period, place, and character that interests you and do some background research to create a toolbox of facts and descriptive details. Drawing from your research, identify a primary character and what issue or conflict you want to explore in the story.

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