WHYY I Like This Book

Sponsored by Harriet and Larry Weiss.

Fostering a life-long love of reading, one book at a time.

  • Alicia Pino | Put Me in the Zoo

    "There is a surprise at the end of the book, so watch out for it!"

  • Salif Sow | If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks

    "This book inspired me because it was about civil rights activist leader who never gave up to find justice and do what was right to find peace and love in her own commhnity."

  • Christian Medina | The Five People You Meet in Heaven

    "This book teaches the reader the valuable lesson of forgiveness and it is a lesson I will carry for the rest of my life."

  • Julianna Sabec | The Day the Crayons Quit

    "The peach crayon was my favorite crayon because he said he was naked because the boy, Duncan, had ripped off his paper wrapper."

WHYY I Like This Book encourages students to share the many reasons why they like a book and how it relates to their lives. We invite students in grades PreK-12 to apply for the chance to be featured on WHYY-TV! To learn more about the program, please click on the links below.

Welcome to WHYY I Like this Book! In order to qualify as a contestant in the WHYY I Like this Book contest, students must be in grades PreK-12 and have parental consent.


Best of luck! Our panel of judges will be looking for the most outstanding applications among contestants in various grade levels. What qualifies as an “outstanding application?” Below you’ll find samples from past finalists. Our judges select these types of original, clear and detailed responses to questions on the application.

We’ll be in touch. Semi-Finalists will be contacted by May 15, 2016. For more information on the Semi-Finalist round, please review the contest rules and regulations.

Our panel of selected judges will be looking for the most outstanding applications among contestants in various grade levels. To give you an idea of an outstanding application, below you will find answers to questions from the applications received from past finalists:


Please describe what you like about this book.

This book is so funny! All of the crayons in Duncan's crayon box write him letters. Each of them is complaining about something. The gray crayon is feeling very tired because Duncan uses him to color big animals. Blue crayon is short and stubby because Duncan colors with him so much. It's the boy's favorite color. Pink crayon is mad because Duncan never uses her. She thinks it's because she's a girl's color. Purple crayon is mad because she wants him to color inside the lines. Yellow and Orange crayons are fighting over which one of them is the color of the sun. This book is special because at the end Duncan makes all of the crayons happy because he uses each one to make a beautiful picture. He listens to what each of them said in their letters. I think his picture is beautiful!


Who is your favorite character and why do they stand out to you?

My favorite character was Jason because he was the natural leader who was from somewhere else. It was interesting to see his memory come back (It was stolen from him to start off the book) and how his fellow quest members ended up following his lead even though they didn't know him. I can relate to him because I am a leader and people look up to me, but I don't always know the answers, similar to Jason.


How does this book relate to you and your life?

I was never very religious. I felt that I was too young to really know what to believe in, but the way the author eloquently tip toes past every religion without any insult or misdemeanor really taught me a valuable lesson: you don't have to put faith in religion or a god. Having faith in your life and in yourself is the only religion you'll need. You will make many mistakes, countless wrong turns, hurt people you don't even know, but it is all part of life. The best thing you can do is pick yourself up and move on; you can always make tomorrow better.

  1. Limit one entry per contestant.
  2. Entrants must be in kindergarten through grade twelve in order to apply.
  3. A parent, teacher or guardian must give consent before students complete an online entry.
  4. Responses may not exceed 1,000 characters (per question).
  5. Each entrant must submit original responses.
  6. Entry deadline is April 15, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Entries submitted after this time will not be accepted.

Round 1

  1. All entries will be assesed by a team of experts who will be looking for the following:
    • Is the application thoughtful and complete?
    • Is there a thorough description of how and why this book relates to the student?
    • Does the student’s personality come across in his or her application?
Round 2

  1. Students selected as Semi-Finalists will be contacted by a WHYY staff member and scheduled to come in to meet with a WHYY producer for a screen-test.
    • All Semi-Finalists will be judged based on the following:
      • Ability to respond to questions.
      • Energy and personality are easily displayed on camera.
  2. No more than 25 entrants will be selected as Semi-Finalists.
  3. Semi-Finalists will be contacted no later than May 15, 2016.
Round 3

  1. Students selected as Finalists will be contacted by a WHYY staff member and scheduled to come in for production of a television interstitial (a commercial-length spot that airs in between scheduled programming).
  2. No more than 10 entrants will be selected as Finalists.
  3. Finalists will be contacted no later than two week after screen test date.

Both Semi-Finalists and Finalists will be invited to a WHYY I Like this Book Reception that will take place in January 2017.

This Year's 'WHYY I Like This Book' Finalists

Cole Gilcrest, Grade 1
Harrison Township Elementary
A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon

Shaurya Tandon, Grade: 1
Schuylkill Elementary
Newton and Me, by Lynne Mayer

Salif Sow, Grade 3
Henry C. Lea Elementary
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, by Faith Ringgold

Serenity Baruzzini, Grade 7
Mastery Charter, Thomas Campus
Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

Daezsanae Robinson, Grade 10
Creative & Performing Arts High School
The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton

Julianna Sabec, Grade 1
Berlin Community School
The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt

Alycia Pino, Grade 2
Demasi Elementary
Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire

Lucia Layden, Grade 6
McCall Elementary
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Zillah Elcin, Grade 9
Academy at Palumbo
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Christian Medina, Grade 12
Gloucester City Jr.-Sr. High School
The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom

See Previous Finalists »

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