Hey guys, Kaylee here! I’m super excited, and have BIG news! Yesterday when I got home, I receved a letter in the mail. The letter notified me, that for the state of Florida, I had won first place [over 500 students entered for my age catagory] in a writting contest. Since I won first place, I’ll be moving on to the national contest, and recieve a $100 cash prize! I’m super excited! I told my friends and they didn’t really seem to care, but to me this is a HUGE deal Below I typed up the letter I wrote or the contest. For the contest we had to write a letter to an author, about how their book inspired us.
Dear Lauren Myracle,
I will never forget the day I started reading your series, The Winnie Years. The books captivated me with how real and down to Earth it was. The books could have literally been the story of my life with all of the names of my friends and family members disguised. From the wacky mom, to the odd sibling, weird friends, and Winnie’s day to day drama- it screamed, “This is me!” As I we t on to read the other books in your Winnie series, Thirteen really captured my attention in a way I never would’ve thought could happen.
My cousin Blake, just like Joseph, was diagnosed with leukemia. He was just five years old. When my family heard the news, we were heartbroken. I remember crying my eyes out. Blake had always been such a light to the world with unlimited energy and it was hard to picture him weak and frail in a hospital bed. I was so depressed, and thought I was helpless to do anything besides cry…until I read your book. Before I read thirteen, I had no idea about the organization known as Locks of Love. Since Blake lived in Michigan and I lived in Florida, I was trying to think of a way to help long distance, but couldn’t come up with anything. Although I knew I wouldn’t be helping Blake directly, it filled my heart with joy to know I could give someone suffering like him comfort.
So, pulling out the Winnie in me, I began to grow out my hair. After eighteen months of only getting trims, I went to finally get it cut this week. I will never forget the feeling I had seeing my braid chopped off [all fourteen inches of it!], and then shipping it off in a box to Locks of Love headquaters. My best friend since kindergarten was even there with me for moral support incase I chickened out [I really loved my long hair!]. Instead, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, or the tears of happiness in the corner of my eyes. Getting my hair cut for Locks of Love was truly one of the best experiences of my life, and I plan to grow it out again and again for Locks of Love as long as I live. I can honestly say that without your book, I would never have been able to do it. Every time I doubted my causee, I would pull your book from my shelf and be determined as ever.
Luckily, Blake is nine and in remission. Your book shoeed me not everyone is as fourtunate as me; and that I can truly get out there and make a difference. Thirteen deepened my understanding for kids with cancer. Before Thirteen, I had never read a story where one of the characters had cancer, and through Blake’s experience, I realized childhood cancer is quite common, but doesn’t get as much attention as other cancers. I think it’s important you highlighted this problem in your book and didn’t shy away from the serious mesage of it. It reminded me that in the face of trouble, we can always find a way to help. The joy I recieved from donating my hair would have never been possible without your novel. As a hopeful future author who is almost thirteen, I’d like you to know that you and your characters don’t just entertain me, they inspire me.