Country Day student wins La Jolla Library essay contest

La Jolla Library essay contest winners: Andrew Lee, grand prize winner Robbie Luddy, Annika Park, Eliana Bevash, Katherine Bevash and Brooke Mannheimer

More than 100 fourth-grade La Jolla Library patrons entered this year’s library essay contest to answer the question: “(What is) a book that has had a personal impact on your life? How did it impact you? And why?”

While open to all library users, the grand prize winner and top five all hail from La Jolla schools, and were honored at a ceremony March 13 at the library, 7555 Draper Ave.

“Today, we are honoring the top six entries, and I’m proud to say they are essays of top quality,” said Youth Services librarian Dana Sanchez. “We are so proud to have such well-read, thoughtful and academically-minded students in our community.”

The grand prize winner was La Jolla Country Day School student Robbie Luddy. The top five include La Jolla Elementary School students Annika Park and Andrew Lee, Torrey Pines Elementary School student Brooke Mannheimer, and La Jolla Country Day School students Katherine Bevash and Eliana Bevash.


Here are the books they chose:

• Robbie Luddy read “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

• Andrew Lee read “El Deafo” by Cece Bell.

• Eliana Bevash read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.


• Katherine Bevash read “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba.

• Annika Park read “The One and Only Ivan” by K.A. Applegate.

• Brooke Mannheimer read “Smile” by Raina Telgemeier.

The students were invited to read their essays and all received a gift certificate to Warwick’s Books.

Robbie also received a pen and journal for his “exemplary essay” to “encourage him to continue writing,” Sanchez said.

“Robbie’s essay described in depth how ‘Treasure Island’ impacted his life, rather than using most of the essay to summarize the book itself,” she said.

“He starts his essay with ‘Have you ever read a book that has changed your love for reading? Well, I have.’

“He hooks you in right at the beginning! He ends with ‘although it was not the story that impacted my life, it was finding the right book that changed my thoughts about reading altogether.’


“What the judges found to be most moving about Robbie’s essay was how well he articulated that reading ‘Treasure Island’ changed how he felt about books and reading in general. He went from not liking to read and only enjoying comics to now looking forward to reading all kinds of books.”

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