YALSA and WWE announced the ten finalists in YALSA’s 2008 WWE WrestleMania Reading Challenge. Each finalist won airfare, hotel, and spending cash for two to Orlando, tickets to WrestleMania XXIV, $2,000 for their library and a chance to compete for ringside seats at WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando on March 30, 2008.
The finalists represent four regions in two categories, grades 7-8 and grades 10-12. Finalists in the grades 7-8 category are:
- Chris Thompson, Cave City, Ky., sponsored by Emily Northcutt at LeGrande Elementary;
- Laquan Dean, Homestead, Pa., sponsored by Eva Mays at the Carnegie Library of Homestead;
- Emily Hardy, Seattle, Wash., sponsored by Kristan Gale at McClure Middle School
- Beau Snod, Napolean, Ohio, sponsored by Christine Badenhop at Napolean Middle School Library; and
- David Silva, Orlando, sponsored by Danielle King, Orlando Public Library.
Finalists in the grades 9-12 category are:
- Zacary Harper, Lake Wales, Fla., sponsored by Carrie Wuensch at Lake Wales Public Library;
- Ajoura Gwinn, Munhall, Pa., sponsored by Eva Mays at the Carnegie Library of Homestead;
- Arun Natarajan, Hicksville, N.Y., sponsored by Judith Messler at Hicksville Public Library;
- Amber Dales, a two-time finalist from Des Moines, Iowa, sponsored by Carol Vanhook at Southeast Polk High School; and
- Kady Marie Peters, Orlando, sponsored by Danielle King, Orlando Public Library.
The WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by WWE, asked teen participants in grades 7-12 to read 10 books between Teen Read Week, October 14-20, 2007, and January 14, 2008. Each teen participant was required to submit a short reading log that described the books that have been read. Participants could then submit a short essay on the topic, “How Wrestling Inspired Me to Read.” The winning entry from each library was submitted to YALSA and one winner in each category from each region was chosen as a national finalist.