YALSA, World Wrestling Entertainment name WrestleMania® Reading Challenge Finalists

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/22/2011

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CHICAGOTwenty regional winners in grades 5-12 from across the United States and Canada have won a chance to compete in the WrestleMania® Reading Challenge World Finals in Atlanta, Georgia on April 2, 2011. The WrestleMania Reading Challenge is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and WWE®, with support from Mattel, Penguin, Cold Stone Creamery, DK Publishing, E1 Entertainment and Topps.

Finalists will compete in a trivia contest to win the title of World Champion for their age division and ringside tickets to WrestleMania XXVII on April 3 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Finalists in Grades 5 and 6 will read Stand Tall, by Joan Bauer (Speak, 2005), finalists in Grades 7 and 8 will read Peeled, by Joan Bauer (Putnam Juvenile, 2008), and finalists in Grades 9 through 12 will read Paper Towns, by John Green (Dutton Juvenile, 2008). To win ringside tickets, finalists will need to correctly answer questions about these books posed by WrestleMania Reading Challenge spokespersons WWE Superstars Big Show®, Rey Mysterio®, Kofi Kingston®, Hornswoggle® and WWE Diva Eve™.  Author Joan Bauer will judge the competition.

Each regional winner won a trip for two to Atlanta and tickets to WrestleMania XXVII to be held on Sunday, April 3.  Each finalist’s sponsoring library won $2,000 and a set of books from Penguin, including a new line of titles featuring WWE Superstars.

More than 1,800 libraries participated in this year’s competition. Participants pledged to read five books between Teen Read Week in October 2010 and WrestleMania XXVII.  Students in grades 5 and 6 entered the contest by creating a bookmark to promote reading.  Students in grades 7 through 12 created a description or illustration of how a “tag team” of their favorite literary character and their favorite WWE Superstar would go on to defeat the WWE Tag Team of “Dashing” Cody Rhodes® and Drew McIntyre™.

“The WrestleMania Reading Challenge reaches a wide audience of teens and tweens with a message about the vital role books, reading and libraries play in their lives,” said Kim Patton, YALSA president. “We’re pleased to offer this program with our partners to encourage teens and tweens to read something for the fun of it.”

“WWE is proud to partner with YALSA and the Atlanta Fulton Public Library, who will host the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finals,” stated Robert Zimmerman, Vice President of Public Relations, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, WWE.  “The Challenge is a fun way to reinforce to school-age children that reading is a fundamental and an important part of learning and everyday life.”

The 2011 regional winners are:

Grades 9-12: Anthony Alakwe, Atlanta; Roberto Cortez, San Diego; Brandy Eggleston, Durham, N.C.; Hilary Hunsley, Edmonton, Alb.; Elmaz Mohmutovic, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Rebecca Murrell, Courtice, Ont.; and Sarah Walker, Philadelphia.

Grades 7-8: Khalid Hamin, Atlanta; Kyain Jones, Schenectady, N.Y.; Courtney Brown, Julian, N.C.; Luke Taylor, Dundas, Ont.; Marinna Vela, Zillah, Wash.; and Caitlan Wolkenhauer, Fessenden, N.D.

Grades 5-6: Trey Johnson, Swedesboro, N.J.; Eric Jose, Oshawa, Ont.; Chase Leclair, Sherwood Park, Alb.; Bryant Martin Jr., Atlanta; Cristian Patino, Hammond, Ind.; Selina Rosas, Marion, Texas; and Angel Solis, Los Angeles.

About YALSA

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, films and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail, yalsa@ala.org.

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.  Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.