Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki

"These engaging stories can serve as models for student writing in elementary and middle school classrooms. The winning entries also serve as models in another way. As you read the students' comments about their writing and their lives, you'll read a testament to the power of parents engaged in their child's education, and the importance that a word of encouragement from a teacher can have on a youngster."
—Richard F. Abrahamson, Introduction

Dear America Third Annual Student Writing Contest: The Winning Entries is a collection of the four winning entries from the third Dear America Writing Contest. The introduction was written by educator Richard F. Abrahamson. The book was published by Scholastic in September 2000.

Book description[]

"For the last three years, Scholastic's Arrow Book Club has run a contest challenging students to write a diary entry from someone in the past, present, or future. In 1999, nearly 6,000 entries were received, including the four winning entries:
In Jodie Hillyard's grand-prize-winning entry
Pikadon-don, The World War II Diary of Rieko Murasako, an atomic bomb devastates Nagasaki, Japan, and changes Rieko's life forever.
The Journey to a New Land, The Diary of Hattie Simalina Potch, by first prize-winner Sara Doran, tells of the difficulties that the Mayflower's passengers endured and of Hattie's own struggles once on land at Plimoth.
In first-prize-winner Nathan Sadasivan's
The Diary of Edward Daniel Phillips, Edward, a Union soldier, survives the Battle of Gettysburg.
Volcano of Mont Pelée, The Diary of Nicole Mailhot, Nicole Hillyard's first-prize-winning entry, describes the effect of a volcano on the inhabitants of a Caribbean island in 1902.
Also included are an introduction by Richard Abrahamson, Professor of Literature for Children and Young Adults, University of Houston; a letter from award-winning Dear America author Barry Denenberg; and biographies of the authors of the winning entries.



By Jodie Hillyard

"The Journey to a New Land"[]

By Sara Doran

"The Diary of Edward Daniel Phillips"[]

By Nathan Sadasivan

"Volcano of Mont Pelée"[]

By Nicole Hillyard


  • Though excerpts of previous entries were published on the website, the book features four entries published in full. These entries were also the only ones published in book form.


See also[]