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Letters About Literature

Dear Erin Hunter,

Isabella Snow
Hutchison School
Memphis

Dear Erin Hunter,

I hated reading. All my life, I never got the point of it. I was never able to get how people could sit for hours staring at a piece of paper with their eyes practically glued to the pages. In third grade, every time we had "reading time" in class, I would always just stare at the corner of the page, turning it every once in a while. 

Dear Erin Hunter,

Dear Jhumpa Lahiri

Anup Challa
White Station High School
Memphis

Dear Jhumpa Lahiri,

As a first-generation American, I often struggle to define who I am. Indian traditions and the urge to assimilate confuse me. Much like Gogol Ganguli in The Namesake, I am still finding my inner self. 

Dear Jhumpa Lahiri,

As a first-generation American, I often struggle to define who I am. Indian traditions and the urge to assimilate confuse me. Much like Gogol Ganguli in The Namesake, I am still finding my inner self.

Dear Ned Vizzini

Monika Scheinberg
Germantown High School
Germantown

Dear Mr. Vizzini,

When your life is falling apart and you're learning that everything you thought you knew about yourself is no longer true, an anchor that keeps you tethered to reality is like a miracle. The year I turned thirteen was possibly the worst year of my life. 

Dear Mr. Vizzini,

Dear Henrietta Lacks

Sofia Tomov
Homeschool
Knoxville

Dear Ms. Rebecca Skloot,

Your book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, changed my view of the world by opening my eyes to the importance of bioethics and inspiring me to research a science project about bioinformatics. In addition, your book led me to explore issues of censorship and the right to free speech through the controversy that rose in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, over banning your book. 

Dear Ms. Rebecca Skloot,

Dear Pablo Neruda

Emily Brown
Ooltewah High School
Ooltewah

Dear Pablo Neruda,

They told me I was insane. "How could you love him after what he has done?" "How could you hate him? He's your father!" "Are you crazy?"

Dear Pablo Neruda,

Event Dates: January 11, 2016

Enter the Letters About Literature (LAL) contest today. It is a great way to get your young people to think critically about something they've read and how and why it made them see the world or themselves differently. LAL meets Common Core Standards for writing, too!

Dear Jay Asher

Bailee Stump
Christiana Middle School
Christiana

Dear Jay Asher,

One suicide. Seven Cassette tapes. Thirteen reasons. Hannah Baker related to me in ways no one else could. She understood what I was keeping inside me. The hole. This hole eats everything you have: emotions, happiness, and, if you're like Hannah Baker, your life.

Dear Jay Asher,

One suicide. Seven Cassette tapes. Thirteen reasons. Hannah Baker related to me in ways no one else could. She understood what I was keeping inside me. The hole. This hole eats everything you have: emotions, happiness, and, if you're like Hannah Baker, your life. This hole starts small but it grows based on everything. Hannah Baker understood the hole that lived inside me, but she didn't understand how to stop it.

Dear J.R.R. Tolkien

Carly Ferrell
Christiana Middle School
Christiana

Dear J.R.R. Tolkien,

Names are powerful. In the Inheritance Cycle series, knowing one's True Name literally give you power over that person. In the Harry Potter series, there's a reason no one calls He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named by his chosen name, Voldemort. And in your book, The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins uses the power of names to trick the evil dragon Smaug. 

Dear J.R.R. Tolkien,

Names are powerful. In the Inheritance Cycle series, knowing one's True Name literally give you power over that person. In the Harry Potter series, there's a reason no one calls He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named by his chosen name, Voldemort. And in your book, The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins uses the power of names to trick the evil dragon Smaug.

Dear Wendy Mass

Ansley Stamper
Hutchison School
Memphis

Dear Wendy Mass,

Your book was my filled mango shaped space. This may sound strange at first, but I imagined Mia’s cat, Mango, as her hope. Her hope was the spirit of her grandfather, and the many colors of the world. Just like Mia, my hope is a world full of differences, not black and white, but full of color and life. 

Dear Wendy Mass,

Your book was my filled mango shaped space. This may sound strange at first, but I imagined Mia’s cat, Mango, as her hope. Her hope was the spirit of her grandfather, and the many colors of the world. Just like Mia, my hope is a world full of differences, not black and white, but full of color and life.

Dear Khaled Hosseini

Lana Singer
White Station High School
Memphis

Dear Mr. Khaled Hosseini,

I hate your book. I completely loathe it. When I glance at my bookshelf and I see that despicable title, that travesty of a name, that abomination of an epithet, I feel sick to my very core. Don’t get me wrong, I think A Thousand Splendid Sunsis beautifully written. But it goes against everything that I’ve known, everything that I’ve been taught. 

Dear Mr. Khaled Hosseini,

Dear Gail Collins

Hannah Piecuch
White Station High School
Memphis

Dear Gail Collins,

It is not often that an anecdotal grammar complaint sparks a heated political conflict-including but not limited to spontaneous post-it note confetti to decrease tension- but this very circumstance happened recently in one of my classes. 

Dear Gail Collins,

Dear John Green

Jennifer Chiu
White Station Elementary School
Memphis

Dear John Green,

There is a reminder of his or her fatal flaw, or hamartia, for everyone. For me it was the watercolor self-portrait sitting in my bedroom. Pinned to it is a green ribbon from the Delta Fair. “9th place” is neatly printed at the top. The ribbon is pretty old, since I was in 2nd grade when I got it. I know I’m supposed to be proud, but I’m not. 

Dear John Green,

There is a reminder of his or her fatal flaw, or hamartia, for everyone. For me it was the watercolor self-portrait sitting in my bedroom. Pinned to it is a green ribbon from the Delta Fair. “9th place” is neatly printed at the top. The ribbon is pretty old, since I was in 2nd grade when I got it. I know I’m supposed to be proud, but I’m not. Whenever I see, I feel disgusted. However, I still haven’t thrown it out.

Dear R.J. Palacio

Molly Yuan
White Station Middle School
Memphis

Dear R. J. Palacio,

Saying that Wonder made a huge impact on my life would be an understatement. The absolute beauty of the book and the message it sends moved me so much. I felt all the pain that Auggie felt, empathized with him when he had to endure the injustice and truth of our society. 

Dear RJ Palacio,

Saying that Wonder made a huge impact on my life would be an understatement. The absolute beauty of the book and the message it sends moved me so much. I felt all the pain that Auggie felt, empathized with him when he had to endure the injustice and truth of our society. But even though the world is cruel, Wonder taught me that there are always people who will love and care for you. Through all the hardships you may face, the difficult situations you get stuck in, there will always be someone who’s there for you.