Young Readers League 2018 Writing Contest

Honorable Mention

Category 1 (ages 8-11)


Ella Lesnever

Age 11 (Grade 6), Blair Middle School

“My Journey Around the United States”


My family is doing a challenge where my brother and I will try to go to all fifty states before we graduate from high school. I’m in sixth grade and my brother is in fifth grade. So far we have been to 41 states and only have nine to go. We have been doing this journey ever since we were young. My parents are also participating in the challenge except that they are way out of high school already. My dad has been to 49 states and my mom has been to 48 states.

The states my brother and I have not been to are, Colorado, Kansas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alaska. Our family is looking forward to a few more trips to complete this challenge.

Our family is also doing a journey inside of our fifty states journey by trying to go to all of the national park sites. There are about 58 national parks and over 417 national park sites. I have been to about 16 national parks and 110 national park sites in total. At each site I try to complete the Junior Ranger program. The Junior Ranger program allows children and adults to learn a lot about each site. When you arrive at a national park you can ask a Ranger to give you a Junior Ranger book. After you complete the activities, you go back to a Ranger and turn-in your book. They will make you raise your right hand and make a pledge before giving you your own badge or patch. I have a big vest with all my junior-ranger badges from the national​ ​parks I’ve visited.

This is our family journey. Visiting all of the fifty states before we graduate from high school.

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