An essay by London Hatch of St. Joseph School written to author Anne Frank has won special recognition through the “Letters About Literature” essay contest sponsored by the Illinois Secretary of State and the Illinois Center for the Book.
The contest asked students to write a letter to an author explaining how their work affected the student’s life. London chose to send her letter to the young Jewish girl whose “Diary of a Young Girl” tells of her years hidden in an attic in the Netherlands during the Nazi reign.
“The book was special to me because of they way she wrote the diary. It was like she was talking to me,” London said. “She was such a good writer. I could really relate to most of the things she wrote about, such as when she wrote about all the fun her sister had with her.”
The sixth grader’s letter was rated a semi-finalist from among the nearly 7,000 entries from students across Illinois. She was judged in the 4-6 grade level.
St. Joseph School junior high teacher Sue Mazur said she typically does not include “Diary of a Young Girl” in her curriculum, but London was able to read and enjoy the book as a fifth grader because she is an advanced reader. London tests at the high school reading level. Science fiction is her favorite reading genre.
London is the daughter of Stephen and Lisa Hatch of Olympia Fields.