“My Name” by Emma Haag

Young Readers League “What’s in a Name” Writing Contest

Category 1 (Age 8-11)

2nd place


My Name

by Emma Haag
11 years old (Grade 6)
Immaculate Heart Middle School

My name is Emma. My dad chose that name for me. To my dad, the name Emma comes from Germany, which is where his dad was from. To me, my name smells like oranges, freshly picked from a tree on a hot summer day. If I could hold my name in my hands it would feel like a soft and rough towel. I say this just because inside and the outside I am a very nice person, but many times I become very mad, which I would consider the rough part of the towel.

My name sounds like crickets chirping at night. My name is a very calm name. Crickets chirping calms me down. Sometimes I get scared at night because I hear strange sounds. But when I hear crickets chirping, they calm me down because to me it is a very assuring sound. If I could go somewhere called Emma, it would be a snowy mountain. It would be a mountain in Alaska, that snows year round. I would be a snowy mountain because my friends love playing in snow.

If I could eat my name, it would taste like my famous zucchini bread. I make delicious zucchini bread that I know everyone loves. My recipe means a lot to me because it was the first recipe I made with my dad. I chose zucchini bread because my name means a lot to my dad and the bread was the first thing I made with the person who named me. My dad made the right choice of naming me Emma. My name in German is Erman. It means whole or universal. My name gives me the confidence to make new friends from all over the world.


Everyone’s name is special. In the spirit of this year’s Young Reader’s League selection, Rump by Liesl Shurtliff, we are holding a writing contest focusing on the meaning of names. In 300 words or less, tell us something about your name. This could be how you got your name, what it means to you, or what it means in general. Anything about your name is fine. Winners will receive a gift card to Vroman’s Bookstore and have their entry featured on the library’s blogs.

Special thanks to our judges:  Allison Hill (Vromans), Catherine Hany (Pasadena Library), Dan Mclaughlin (Pasadena Library), Judy Melton (Friends of the Library), Nick Smith (Pasadena Library), Roy Park (Pasadena Library), Tiffany Duenas (Pasadena Library)

Jane Gov

Jane is a Youth Services Librarian at Pasadena Central Library. She purchases YA books for the library system and maintains the teen booklist, online resources, and webpages. She oversees Teen & YA programs including Summer Reading, Advisory Board, Zine, book reviewers, Teen Mental Health Initiative, and volunteers. She also coordinates the library's Innovation Lab, STEAM Kits project, and Young Readers League. She also conducts a few kids events and storytimes. Jane is a contributor to VOYA Magazine and a YALSA Board member.  A majority of her free time is spent with her two corgis Tyrion and Gimli. She tweets as @missjanegov.

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