Desiree Holden, seventh-grader at Orangefield Junior High, is a state finalist in the Library of Congress’ national literacy contest “Letters About Literature.”

The contest is the primary literacy campaign sponsored by the library’s Center for the Book, and Target stores. Readers may enter by writing a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre – fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves.

There are three competition levels: Level I for grades 4-6; Level II (7-8) and Level III (9-12).

Several OJH students in Heggie Coulter’s seventh grade and Martha Howell’s eight-grade language arts classes took part in the contest.

Desiree wrote to author Gary Paulsen. She fell in love with the book “Hatchet” in Debbie Etheridge’s seventh-grade reading class. Her letter was chosen out of several thousand entries.

State winners receive a $50 Target gift card and national winners will receive a free paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their author at the White House.