Category Archives: WSL News

A Letters About Literature Reading List

The Letters About Literature contest invites each student in grades 4-12 to write to an author—living or dead—whose work influenced the student’s life. It’s not a formal report where someone picks a book the child or teen “should” read. Instead, the students themselves pick the books that touched their hearts. If a fourth grader found inspiration in War and Peace, so be it. If a high school senior turned his or her life around after reading Captain Underpants, we welcome their letter. What matters most is that a connection was made.

With that in mind, we thought it would be fun this year to compile a reading list of  all the titles our Wyoming Letters About Literature participants chose. Some are newer, some are classics, some might be surprises, but all touched the lives of at least one young reader. Enjoy.

Level 1 (grades 4-6)

  • Who Was Alexander the Great? by Kathryn Waterfield and Robin Waterfield
  • The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Lincoln’s Last Days by Bill O’Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman
  • Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen
  • Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series) by Jeff Kenney
  • Angela’s Wings by Eric Jon Nones
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Level 2

  • Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Frozen by Robin Wasserman
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Inheritance Cycle (series) by Christopher Paolini
  • Letters for Emily by Camron Wright
  • The Shining by Stephen King

Level 3

  • Yassmin’s Story by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
  • Skate by Michael Harmon
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Michael Vey (series) by Richard Paul Evans
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Booked by Kwame Alexander
  • Mark of the Grizzly by Scott McMillion
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  • One Summer by David Baldacci
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • 70 x 7 and Beyond by Monty Christensen
  • Solitary by Travis Thrasher
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor
  • Black and White by Paul Volponi
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Letters About Literature is a program of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, with support from the Dollar General Foundation.

Letters About Literature 2016-17 Winners Named

The Wyoming State Library has named top honors in state-level competition in the 2016-17 Letters About Literature Contest, a program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

The WSL awarded 5th grade student Connor Klindt of Laramie first place in Level 1 (grades 4-6). Kris Balstad, an 8th grader at Thermopolis Middle School in Thermopolis, took first place in Level 2 (grades 7-8), and Laramie 9th grader Arundathi Nair took first in Level 3 (grades 9-12). The full list of winners and links to their letters is below.

Wyoming’s entries were judged by A. Rose Hill, a former Poet Laureate of Wyoming (Level 1); Mary Billiter, a romance author and award-winning weekly newspaper columnist with the Casper Star-Tribune (Level 2); and Laurel Shelley Reuss, a comic artist and writer of graphic novels, webcomics and tabletop role-playing games.

Level 1 (grades 4-6):

Level 2 (grades 7-8):

Level 3 (grades 9-12)

All three first place winners advanced to national competition and will receive a $150 Amazon gift card from the Wyoming Center for the Book. Second place winners will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and third place winners will receive a $50 card.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year.

The 2016-2017 Letters About Literature contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations.

WYLD Board Thanks Brian Greene

Brian Greene, “Our WYLD Hero!” Today, the WYLD Governing Board honored Brian, who managed the WYLD Office at the Wyoming State Library for 16 years.

The WYLD Governing Board honored Brian Greene today for his many years of service to the WYLD Network.

Brian with Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus.

“The WYLD Governing Board appreciates Brian’s 16 years of leadership,” said Jamie Markus, Wyoming State Librarian. “His vision saw WYLD through many changes and improvements. We’re grateful for all he’s done for the libraries out in the state.”

Greene has worked 25 years for the Wyoming State Library. Currently, he is the WSL’s Library Development Manager, a position he moved into in October of last year after 16 years at the helm as the WYLD Program Manager.

Greene’s also been an active member of the Wyoming Library Association for more than 24 years, serving as President from 2007-08. He was named WLA Librarian of the Year in 1999.

Drips and Dropcloths at the WSL

Seed libraries might be trending, but at the Wyoming State Library we’re going for the greenhouse look with sheets of plastic throughout the stacks. Above, left to right, WSL staffers Robyn Mofield, Abby Beaver, Angie Wolff, and Travis Pollok are hard at work protecting the documents from leaks and drips.

Unlike a seed library, we’re hoping nothing sprouts. The WSL’s roof is slated for replacement this year.