Congratulations to Stephanie Diaz and Christian Cervantes of Houston for winning the 2009 WrestleMania Reading Challenge! Diaz won the Grades 7-8 competition by answering the most correct questions about Soccer Chicks Rule by Dawn Fitzgerald. Cervantes won the Grades 9-12 competition by answering the most correct questions about Shift by Jennifer Bradbury. The 2009 WrestleMania Reading Challenge was sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment, with support from Mattel.
In addition to being named national champions, Cervantes and Diaz won ringside seats to WrestleMania. Participating in the finals were WrestleMania Reading Challenge spokespeople and WWE Superstars Mark Henry, MVP, and Matt Hardy, and WWE Diva Layla. Bradbury served as the judge for the competition.
Finalists for the three grade levels (5-6, 7-8, and 9-12) attending the championships in Houston included:
- Grades 9-12: Christian Cervantes, Houston, Texas, Tuttle Neighborhood Library; Gavin Marriott, Edgemont, S.D., Edgemont Public Library; Angelica Kruth, Munhall, Pa., Mt. Lebanon Public Library; William Haggerty, Snow Hill, N.C., Greene Central High School Media Center; and Karolina Flores, El Monte, Calif., El Monte Library, County of Los Angeles Public Library
- Grades 7-8: Stephanie Diaz, Houston, Texas, Walter Neighborhood Library; Marissa Brann, Corydon, Ind., Harrison County Public Library; Hansel Caraballo, New York, I.S.143 Eleanor Roosevelt Library; Kyle Hoskins, Louisville, Ky., Zoneton Middle School; Kayla Bell, Los Angeles, Calif., Exposition Park - Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Branch Library
- Grades 5-6: Jose Castro, Houston, Texas, Ring Branch Library; Herlinda Aparicio, Overland Park, Kan., Oak Park Library, Johnson County Library; Nicolas Covelli, Stormville, N.Y., Mahopac Public Library; Donte Edwards, Alpharetta, Ga., Holcomb Bridge Middle School Media Center; Neom Rose Chacon, El Mirage, Ariz., El Mirage Elementary School
More than 50,000 teens and tweens from more than 1,800 libraries participated in this year’s competition. Participants read 10 books, magazines or graphic novels over a period of 10 weeks, and then created a slogan and bookmark design that promoted reading at their library. The regional finalists were chosen by a national judging committee of YALSA members.