WrestleMania Reading Challenge finalists announced

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March 20, 2009

Ten regional winners in grades 7 to 8 and 9 to 12 from across the United States have won a chance to compete in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge National Finals in Houston the weekend of the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. Five regional champions from grades 5 to 6 will also be guests at the finals, which will be held at the Houston Public Library on Saturday, April 4. (PHOTOS)

Each regional winner won a trip for two to Houston, tickets to the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania at Reliant Stadium on April 5, and $2,000 for their sponsoring library. The WrestleMania Reading Challenge is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association and World Wrestling Entertainment, with support from Mattel. More than 1,800 libraries participated in this year's competition. (CONTEST INFO)

Students in grades 7 to 8 and 9 to 12 will compete in a trivia contest to win the WrestleMania ringside tickets. The finalists will answer questions posed by WWE Superstars and Divas to compete for the national title.

The 2009 regional winners are:
• Grades 9 to 12: Christian Cervantes, Houston, 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; Karolina Flores, El Monte, Calif., El Monte Library, County of Los Angeles Public Library
• Grades 7 to 8: Stephanie Diaz, Houston, Walter Neighborhood Library; Marissa Brann, Corydon, Ind., Harrison County Public Library; Hansel Caraballo, New York City, I.S. 143 Eleanor Roosevelt Library; Kyle Hoskins, Louisville, Ky., Zoneton Middle School; Kayla Bell, Los Angeles, Exposition Park - Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Branch
• Grades 5 to 6: Jose Castro, Houston, Houston Public Library, Ring Neighborhood Library; Herlinda Aparicio, Overland Park, Kan., Oak Park Library, Johnson Country Library; Nicolas Covelli, Stormville, N.Y., Mahopac Public Library; Donte Edwards, Alpharetta, Ga., Holcomb Bridge Middle School Media Center; Neomi Rose Chacon, El Mirage, Ariz., El Mirage Elementary School Library

"We're always looking for ways to spread the word that reading is fun and the best habit you can have, and this challenge is one more way to do that," said Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president. "The incentive -- to participate in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge and possibly attend WrestleMania -- is a highly motivating one and one which allows librarians to reach out to teens who may not already have a love of reading."

With two national titles on the line, Gary Davis, WWE Vice President, Global Public Affairs, said he expects the competition to be fierce.

"It's nerve-wracking for the finalists, but with the participation of the WWE Superstars and Divas, the kids all have fun, which is what reading books should be all about," Davis said.

"Mattel is proud to partner with WWE on this terrific initiative," said Tim Kilpin, General Manager, boy, girls and games for Mattel Brands and board member of the Mattel Children's Foundation. "Literacy is a Mattel Children's Foundation key priority, and this Reading Challenge engages children through an exciting form of entertainment they love -- WWE wrestling!"

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, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail, yalsa@ala.org.

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