Saturday, August 10, 2013


If you are a teacher or librarian in the Los Angeles area, here is a terrific opportunity for the kids at your school or library:

Calling all writers in grades 5-8 who have ever had a crazy summer! FOCAL, the friends group of the Children’s Literature Department of LAPL Central Library, is sponsoring their annual writing contest. This year students are reading the book One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia and traveling back in time to the summer of 1968 in Oakland. This exciting, emotional work of historical fiction (winner of the Newbery honor, Coretta Scott King Author Award, Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award and the FOCAL award) is the story of three sisters, sent from Brooklyn to spend the summer getting to know their mother in California. The girls have dreams of Disneyland which are immediately replaced by summer camp with the Black Panthers. This is indeed a crazy summer!

The writing contest is an opportunity for students to respond to award winning literature for an authentic reason; winning a contest! Standards will be met! History will come alive! Students will have fun while they learn! And, three lucky winners will have lunch with the author, get an autographed book, and read their essay aloud at our annual awards luncheon. Will you be submitting the best three essays from your class by November 2, 2013?
For all the details, go to and download the guidelines and application,

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