Monday, March 2, 2009

Announcing Our BHMW Contest Winners!

We are proud to announce the winners of our first Black History Month Writers' Contest. Please join us in congratulating:

1st place-Margaret Harney for her review of Passing by Nella Larson
2nd place- Stephanie Su for her review of Jason & Krya and Played by Dana Davidson
3rd place- Annette Bell for her bio sketch on Toni Morrison

Honorable mentions:
Patty Franz for her review of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Mahogany Howard for her review of Beloved by Toni Morrison

Links are provided below. If you haven't read these entries, we encourage you to read and comment.

Thank you to all contributors. We appreciate your readership and support.

From our judges:

Passing by Nella Larson
Review by Margaret Harney

I thought this was an in-depth review that made me want to pull the book off the shelf and read it right now. The author did a great job of capturing what the book is about, and the passages and details she included really motivated me to want to learn more about this story and this author. I appreciated her take on the different ways the title can be interpreted in the story. ~Carleen

Jason& Kyra by Dana Davidson
Review by Stephanie Su

I want to read this book and have my students read it as well! The reviewer did a good job revealing the story of these two unlikely love interests. She provides insight into the character’s desires, motivations, and obstacles that get in their way without revealing too much of the story. ~Tisha

The author of this review showed an awareness of the reasons why readers are interested in reviews. She highlights why Jason and Kyra is a cut above other romance novels, and then goes on to compare this novel to those written by a different author that she thinks readers might be familiar with. She gives just enough of a plot summary to pique interest without revealing too much of the narrative. Her tone strikes the right balance between friendly conversation and professional detachment. ~Christine

Toni Morrison
Bio sketch by Annette Bell

This essay is organized in a very clever way. The author begins with a quote from Morrison’s Nobel Prize speech, and ends with Kofi Anan’s words about the great writer. In between the references to the Nobel Prize, the author includes interesting facts about Toni Morrison I didn’t know, such as how she had changed her name as a young woman. The essay not only inspired me to revisit Morrison’s works, it also has instilled a desire to read more about Morrison’s life. ~Christine

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Review by Patty Frantz

The reviewer makes you want to read the book not only for the first time but re read it for new insights and listen to the audio for Ruby Dee’s soothing voice taking you on Janie’s journey. ~Tisha

Beloved by Toni Morrison
Review by Mahogany Howard

I chose Beloved because I appreciated how the author related her experience reading it to her personal life--the story of her grandmother giving her the book at such a young age (probably not having read it herself) was touching and told a whole other story about how slavery and oppression resonate in the black community. I also liked how she summarized her review w/pros and cons. ~Carleen


Carleen Brice said...

Congratulations to all those who entered! All the essays I read were very well written and made me want to read the books!

Anonymous said...

Everyone who entered deserves congrats and thanks. I'm a librarian looking forward to reading many of the reviewed books.

Steph Su said...

Congrats to all the winners! I am proud to be part of such a fun and enlightening contest.

Canned Ice said...

Congratulations Winners!! I really enjoyed reading your submissions. Thanks so much for participating :-) Your reviews were inspiring.

Lisa said...

Congratulations everyone. I have read and enjoyed every review and post this month. I'm looking forward to see what March brings. :)

Ali said...

Terrific contest, and congratulations to the winners!

Christine Swint said...

I echo the other judges congratulations. I also apologize for not coming by sooner - our magazine was just released, and I've been under a deadline.

This contest has inspired me to make my reading list even longer. Very impressive, the commitment and dedication to reading, writing, and reflection that is found on this web site.