07 November 2008

First Place - TRW Creative Writing Contest

Why Reading is Important
They whisper love will trump them all
But I believe that it can fall
In words we find an endless way
For passioned reason to hold its sway

Of Romeo and Juliet
Their love was true, but fixed, preset
Did not the stars still twist their fate?
So love was killed with burning hate

I’ll tell you now where lies power
One needs not life to stay alive
It’s through the words which we devour
We find a way to learn, to thrive

Immortality, the only path
To not incur a fearful wrath
Is paved with words set forth to last
Since words hold true, hold strong, hold fast

To read is, so, to honor life
And free oneself from pain and strife
For strength of that, the written word
Is truth one gained, one’s mind conjured

A world half yours, a world half real
A wondrous place for all to feel
It opens gates to endless sky
Where only fools need wings to fly
--Lily Ting, a senior at Indian Hills High School

Runner Up - TRW Creative Writing Contest

Why Is Reading Important?

Everyone knows Jared Kennedy. He’s infamous. Jared is that kid who always goes around school asking those random questions, saying he’s on a “quest for truth.” Jared’s latest question centers on the importance of literacy – whether reading is actually important or not. (A few say that this question was prompted by a bad grade in English class; others say that Jared is simply an anomaly and refuse to continue attempting to figure him out.) So Jared, in typical Jared fashion, decided to ask that very question: “Is reading important?”

Jared first asked Kurt Schneebly, captain of the Mathletes. The MIT hopeful thought carefully for some minutes, before answering, “Well, obviously reading is important. Without reading, ideas cannot be passed from one person to the nest. As history shows us, this passing of ideas was especially critical in the Age of Exploration, when Europe was trying to establish new colonies in the 1600s. Point is: without reading works from other explorers, Columbus would never have found an incentive to explore. America would not exist.” Jared then proceeded to pose the same question to Marcus, the class clown. “Dude reading is awesome!” exclaimed the jokester. “Everyone things I’m ridiculously funny but honestly I just quote Oscar Wilde without sourcing him.” Marcus winked. Laughing, Jared continued on his search for truth. He proceeded to ask the head of the English Department. Mrs. DuPont answered, “Well without reading I would have no job . . . nor would I have any entertainment.” She grinned wickedly, “You have no idea how amusing it is to watch children attempt to analyze Shakespeare.” Jared then asked the assumed valedictorian of the class of 2009. Jamie responded matter-of-factly, “I read because it boosts SAT scores.”

Satisfied with his collected answers, Jared went home. He picked up Lord of the Rings and proceeded to be drawn into a fantasy world. When Jared arose from his mesmerized state three hours later, he finally understood the importance of reading. Reading provides an unparalleled escape from reality. Reading mandates the exercise of pure imagination, the most liberating and powerful experience in which a human being can partake.

--AnnaLee, a Junior at Immaculate Heart Academy

Teen Read Week Creative Writing Contest!

Congratulations to the winners of Franklin Lakes Public Library's second Teen Creative Writing Contest!
Lily Ting Hsu received First Prize: a $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.

AnnaLee Rice received Second Prize: a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.

The Teen Creative Writing Contest was part of the celebration of Teen Read Week 2008. Teen Read Week is the national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association. The theme for the writing contest this year was “Why is Reading Important?” At Franklin Lakes Public Library and area schools, teens were given a contest entry form and were encouraged to create an original short story, essay, poem, screenplay, etc. Copies of the winning entries can be found in the library and on the Teen Blog at http://katethelibraryan.blogspot.com. Thank you to all who submitted entries for this contest; we appreciate your participation!

For more information about teen reading and Teen Read Week, visit
www.ala.org/teenread. For more information about library programs and contests, visit www.franklinlakeslibrary.org.