March 12-13 2022, 9:30-5:30, on the beautiful University of Arizona campus!

Tucson Festival of Books Celebrates Young Authors and Artists!

by Johanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star / March 1, 2021

Young authors and artists were honored during the virtual 2021 Tucson Festival of Books on March 6. Here is a link to watch the ceremony on replay! 

Here are the talented young people being honored:


Altrusa International of Tucson Inc., a nonprofit volunteer organization whose activities focus on literacy, leadership development and fellowship, sponsored the Young Authors Competition. Young Author winners will receive  $100 in gift certificates, a $50 gift certificate to U of A Bookstore as well as a gift bag with a writing journal, pens and bookmarks provided by Altrusa, and a $50 gift certificate to Bookmans, provided by Bookmans. 

  • Grades pre-K thru second: Parker Paszko, a kindergartner at the Beginning School, for “The Snowman and Sandy;” Lily Polk, a home-schooled kindergartner, for “The Christmas Cactus;” and Atticus Sharp, a home-schooled first-grader, for “The Rock Buddies’ Ocean Adventure.”
  • Grades third through fifth: Ashley Briggs, fifth-grader at Khalsa Montessori, for “Kingsley;” Rita Cai, fourth-grader at Basis Tucson Primary, for “Rouge’s Adventure;” Isabella Estrada, fifth-grader at Gallego Intermediate, for “The Nickel of Luck;” Elise Martinez, fourth-grader at Khalsa Montessori, for “The Christmas Elf;” and Veronica Ragsdale, fourth-grader at Micheltorena, for “Honey Voices.”
  • Grades sixth through eighth: Ella Larsen, eighth-grader at Dove Mountain CSTEM, for “Caution Tapes;” and Chaemin Lee, seventh-grader at Basis Oro Valley, for “Eloy — A Robin’s Story.”
  • High school: Matthew Kim, 10th-grader at Basis Oro Valley, for “Purgatory;” Jude Poitier, ninth-grader at Basis Tucson North, for “Daisy;” Marie Poitier, 11th-grader at University High, for “Empathy;” and Brianna Schmidt, 12th-grader at MDLP, for “Falling With You.”
  • Grades pre-K through second: Freeda Dahl, a home-schooled pre-kindergartener, for “Freeda’s Poem;” Irie Dahl, a home-schooled first-grader, for “When the Virus is Over;” and Zahra Ratiyath, second-grader at Basis Oro Valley, for “The Desert is Watching Me.”
  • Grades third through fifth: Eleanor Farrell-Wortman, fourth-grader at Lineweaver Elementary, for “The Queen of Britain’s Cute Corgies;” Madilyn Lesniak, fourth-grader at Lineweaver Elementary, for “The 4th of July Wars;” and Ryleigh Williams, fourth-grader at Leman Academy of Excellence Oro Valley, for “Night.”
  • Grades sixth through eighth: Lindsay Gaines, eighth-grader at Emily Gray Jr. High., for “The World From the View of a Shoe;” Maximo Jimenez, seventh-grader at McCorkle Academy of Excellence, for “My Lonely Junk Drawer;” and Jennica Lugo, eighth-grader at Roskruge Bilingual K-8, for “My Many Grandmothers and Me.”
  • High School: Minju Kim, ninth-grader at Basis Oro Valley, for “Ding! And Woman;” Lucianna Ochoa, 12th-grader at Walden Grove High School, for “Women are Enough;” and Ariel Salcido, 12th-grader at Desert View High School, for “Where I’m From.”

The Young Artists competition is sponsored by Friends of Western Art. Winners will each receive a $100 gift certificate to Sarnoff Artist Materials, a copy of the poster made from the art and a copy of the book with the art, The Pandemic award winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Sarnoff Artist Materials.

The winners are:

•Pandemic Award: Ava Grace Erlacher, kindergartner at Canyon View Elementary

•Agua Caliente Elementary: Sixth-grader Alexis Monique Harris

•Basis Oro Valley: Seventh-graders Ranjit Nair and Aleena Rafiyath

•Basis Tucson Primary School: Fourth-grader Sophia Bradley

•Civano Community School: Sixth-grader Anna Taylor; seventh-graders Tatum Gratrix, S. Noelani Inovejas and Maelina Ruiz; and eighth-graders Sofia Bishop, Daniela Bruner, Dexter Mitchell, Hailey Ogg and Mia Urias

•Esperero Canyon Middle School: Sixth-grader Sophie Hannley

•Gallego Intermediate: Fourth-grader Metztli Medina

•K12 Private Online Academy: First-grader Julian Gutierrez

•Mansfeld Middle School: Eighth-grader Lauren Anderson

•Pusch Ridge Christian Academy: Sixth-grader Josephine Burnside

•Tanque Verde Elementary: Second-grader Avery Crawford; and third-graders Jaxson Dehler, Joshua Lyman and Adelaide Whittier

•Tanque Verde High School: Sophomore Brett Lewis

•Ventana Vista Elementary: Second-grader Jasper Torrance

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friends of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
University of Arizona - Facilities Management

Key Sponsors

Marshall Foundation

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