For immediate release | April 12, 2011

YALSA, WWE® crown 2011 WrestleMania® XXVII Reading Challenge champions

PHOENIX – Eric Jose, Marinna Vela and Brandy Eggleston were crowned national champions in the WrestleMania® XXVII Reading Challenge on April 2, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, and WWE, with support from Mattel, Penguin, Cold Stone Creamery, DK Publishing, E1 Entertainment and Topps.

Jose, a resident of Oshawa, Ontario, represented the Oshawa Public Library and successfully defeated the competition in the grades 5-6 competition by answering the most questions correctly about the book "Stand Tall," by Joan Bauer, who served as a judge. Other regional finalists in the grade 5-6 competition were Trey Johnson, Swedesboro, N.J.; Chase Leclair, Sherwood Park, Alberta; Bryant Martin Jr., Atlanta; Cristian Patino, Hammond, Ind.; Selina Rosas, Marion, Texas; and Angel Solis, Los Angeles.

Vela lives in Zillah, Wash., and represented Yakima Valley Libraries. She won the 7-8 competition through her knowledge of the book "Peeled," also by Bauer. Other regional finalists in the grade 7-8 competition were Khalid Hamin, Atlanta; Kyain Jones, Schenectady, N.Y.; Courtney Brown, Julian, N.C.; Luke Taylor, Dundas, Ont.; and Caitlan Wolkenhauer, Fessenden, N.D.

Eggleston, a resident of Durham, N.C., represented the Durham County Library. In the grade 9-12 finals, she correctly answered the most questions on the book "Paper Towns" by John Green. Other regional finalists in the grade 9–12 competition were Anthony Alakwe, Atlanta; Roberto Cortez, San Diego; Hilary Hunsley, Edmonton, Alberta; Elmaz Mohmutovic, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Rebecca Murrell, Courtice, Ontario; and Sarah Walker, Philadelphia.

In addition to being named national champions, Jose, Vela and Eggleston won ringside seats to WrestleMania XXVII. WWE Legend Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart served as emcee and WrestleMania Reading Challenge spokespeople included WWE Superstars Big Show®, Kofi Kingston®, Hornswoggle® and WWE Diva Eve™ who asked the questions of the kids during the competition.

Twenty regional winners in grades 5–12 from across the United States and Canada came to Atlanta as the guests of WWE. The national finals took place at the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library the day before WrestleMania XXVII.

More than 50,000 teens and tweens from more than 1,800 libraries participated in this year’s competition. Participants pledged to read five books or graphic novels beginning with Teen Read Week and then created artwork, including a bookmark or a literary-wrestling tag team, to promote reading. The regional finalists were chosen by a national judging committee of YALSA members.

More information on the WrestleMania Reading Challenge can be found at

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

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