Potter and the Half Blood Prince essay contest winners
Winners of Essay Contest 'Why I Love Reading Harry Potter!'
announced. Celebrations on Half Blood Prince release night.
NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Scholastic, the global children's publishing and media company, announced today the winners of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince national essay contest. Ten essays were selected from more than 8,000 entries received. The 10 winners range in age from nine to seventeen and are from all areas across the United States. They and their chaperones will depart on the midnight flight from New York City to London on July 16th on American Airlines flight AA12. Upon boarding the flight at 12:01 a.m. (EDT), each of the 10 winners will be handed a free copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, provided by U.S. publisher Scholastic to read during their overnight flight. In addition, every passenger onboard will receive a free copy of the book.
"The winning essays capture so honestly what the Harry Potter books are all about -- a love of reading, the inspiration drawn from good literature, and an appreciation of family and friends," said Arthur Levine, Editorial Director, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, editor of the Harry Potter books, and a judge of the essay contest. "All of the talented young fans who entered the contest are to be congratulated for their inspiring and creative essays."
Winners will also enjoy a fun-filled 4 day/ 4 night vacation in London, England. The entire grand prize package is courtesy of Scholastic, American Airlines Vacations, The Cumberland Hotel in London and The Sheraton Hotels of New York.
Harry Potter fans were asked to write an essay of no more than 300 words explaining why they "Love Reading Harry Potter." Entries were judged on originality, clarity and the child's ability to describe their unique connection to the Harry Potter books and why he/she loves reading them. Entrants were required to be legal residents of the United States and not older than eighteen as of June 16, 2005.
Excerpts from the winning essays:
Caitlin, Rochester, MN, Age 15
Caitlin recalled trying to retrieve the book from her siblings in order to read the latest Harry Potter: "The ... worst danger of possessing a new Harry Potter book in my home is leaving it unguarded. Within seconds someone will pounce on it and run for the bathroom."
Michael, Corona, CA, Age 12
Michael drew courage from Harry in his battle with cancer: "When I read Harry Potter books it helped me to forget about everything that was happening to me. Harry always beats evil and saves the day. Cancer was the evil thing threatening me, and I beat it!!
David, Shallowater, TX, Age 13
David learned about making choices from Harry: "I learned from the Harry Potter books that you cannot control what others think of you. You can only control your own actions. Reading these books helped me deal with my own peer pressures and find my own identity."
Kaitlin, Springfield, MI, Age 14
Kaitlin made a special bond with her Grandfather reading the Harry Potter books: "His soft, deep voice rang through my ears over the years, as he would sit down and read to me. I know that when he has gone forever, I will still be able to read one of those magical stories that he read me so long ago, and be with him again."
Roberto, Newark, NJ, Age 10
Roberto found in J.K. Rowling's books the inspiration to master a new language: "My favorite character is Harry Potter because he is brave. I'm also brave because I was an ESL student when I got to Franklin School and now I can speak English perfectly."
James, Vancouver, WA, Age 11
James discovered in Harry Potter's world an escape from the worries in his life: "When reading Harry Potter I forget about all my worries. Like why I'm in foster care, and how I'm going to pay for my next Harry Potter book ... [but] I would have done this essay for a penny or even for free."
Sean, Seal Beach, CA, Age 17
Sean has been inspired by J.K. Rowling to make a difference in the world: "I believe that ... Harry Potter's fantasy world reflects the archetypal hero's journey that sparks within each of us a desire for greatness."
Julia, Palm Harbor, FL, Age 12
Julia has been inspired by Harry Potter books to write about the loss of her sister, Olivia. "When Olivia was upset or in pain, my mom would tell me, 'Talk about something that will cheer her up.' Harry Potter would make her chuckle. Ms. Rowling brought joy to my sister and continues to help me get through my grief and escape my worries."
Kaacy, Baltimore, MD, Age 9
Kaacy identified with the Weasley family: "My family is big like the Weasleys and sometimes we don't always have money for the best things, but we love each other and that's the most important thing. I think that Harry Potter is the best book ever because it shows that family is about love."
Tam, Woodstown, NJ, Age 15
Tam learned more about herself reading Harry Potter: "Nothing is more satisfying than seeing things differently or realizing that others relate to emotions I thought I alone could grasp. Harry Potter provides just that. Harry Potter isn't just about the magic of those inside Hogwarts; they're about the magic inside Muggles, too.
Scholastic is printing an initial unprecedented 10.8 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, an all-time United States publishing record. There will also be a special reinforced library edition and Deluxe Edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince published simultaneously on July 16, 2005.