John Strauss is an avid reader. The Emma K. Doub fourth-grader was convinced he didn't like mysteries, until lack of reading material while on vacation and a little encouragement from his father persuaded him to give the Hardy Boys a try.
Now he's hooked amassing a collection of most of their books and getting to the point that he and a friend pretend to investigate crimes.
When his teacher, Nina Wolfe, told the class about the 2008 Letters about Literature national writing contest, John decided to enter.
Wolfe said writing contests provide the motivation some students need to write.
The Letters about Literature contest is a program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Its goal is to encourage students in grades 4 through 12 to read, be inspired and share with the author how their lives have been affected by their book or books.