Lincoln-Way Central Students Receive Letters from Famous Authors and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Monday, March 9, 2015

Approximately 40 Lincoln-Way Central students participated in the national Letters for Literature Contest. The program asks students to select a book and write a letter to its author about how the book personally impacted them.

Several seniors in Sandra Rogina and Kristine OTooles English class received letters back from famous authors including one from 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, author of Night.

The students read Night as a class and were moved by Wiesels story of survival from his time as a concentration camp prisoner during the Holocaust. Students Jean Pierre (JP) Battistini, Frank Saletta and Quintin Miller wrote to Wiesel and received a letter back from the 87-year-old author and professor.

It was really touching to be able to feel what he felt, said Battistini. He went through some terrifying events after he was separated from his mother and sisters. His message was not to be a bystander in life and when there is evil, to stop it.

Student Frank Saletta said he was shocked to receive a return letter from Wiesel and inspired by the authors commitment to make a difference.

In his return letter, Wiesel wrote, I am moved to learn of the effect my memoir, Night, had on you. Knowing that you and your classmates will never forget the tragedies of the past fills me with hope. You can use your knowledge and understanding to educate those who are unaware. You and your classmates can make a difference in creating a new kind of century. Keep learning and reading, more and more.

Senior Janice Armstrong wrote to deceased author Ned Vizzini and received a letter from his foundation along with two books and Jonathan Malinowski wrote to and received a return response from author Dean Koontz.

Armstrong said she was pleased to receive the letter and thought not a lot of authors would take the time to write. She said Vizzinis book was funny and gave her hope.

The Letters for Literature Contest is sponsored by Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.