With subjects as diverse as unicorn planets and goblins to the loss of a beloved aunt and positive messages for coping with divorce, 10 student manuscripts were selected by the Woodstock School District 200 Literacy Committee as state representatives in the Young Authors program.
Kristen Sauber, a D 200 instructional coach who oversees the Young Authors program, said a total of 46 manuscripts were selected from among 10 participating schools. Those works were then assessed by a panel of judges who chose one book to represent each school building.
“The teachers were really excited about the quality of as well as the number of submissions,” Sauber said. “They were taken aback by the quality and creativity and the personal stories that students wanted to share.”
Many of the books contained their own illustrations. Some were handwritten, others typed. There were lengthy novellas as well as short but poignant prose. Three of this year’s winners were written in Spanish by a kindergarten student, a fifth-grader and a sixth-grade student.
“It’s a great way to celebrate students who really have a passion for writing and to encourage students to share their thoughts and talents through writing — to find their voice,” Sauber said.
The 2022 Young Authors winners were as follows:
Sandra Marti: “Maya en el Planeta de los unicornios,” Olson Elementary, Grade 5
Hunter Cyrul: “The Boy, and the Bird, and the Goblin,” Westwood Elementary, Grade 1
Evelyn Kate Vazquez: “Todo sobre los unicornios y los pegasos,” Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center, Kindergarten
Blakely Bennett: “An ABC Guide to Divorce for Kids,” Mary Endres Elementary, Grade 4
Josh O’Brien: “Spike and Lightning Dig up Dinosaurs,” Prairiewood Elementary, Grade 2
Erin McDonough: “Among the Trees,” Dean Street Elementary, Grade 5
Ellie Wall: “Angel of Hope,” Greenwood Elementary School, Grade 5