Five of them read from their award-winning works at the Woodside Library on Nov. 1. Each was awarded a certificate and a check for $100, thanks to a generous member of the Woodside Friends of the Library.
A total of 18 children entered the library's "Name That Deer" contest, writing tales that suggested a name for the new library mascot: the statue of a resting young deer donated by Hertha Harrington. Ms. Harrington not only donated the mascot, she also came up with the idea of a writing contest to name it, and gave the prize money.
Each of the 15 children who weren't winners will receive two books for entering.
Alexandra Plotnikoff, age 9, came up with the winning name in her story — "Booker." Other prize winners were Luke Zamboldi, 5, proposing the name Jumpy; Kate Erickson, 8, with Thump!; Jenna Lange, 13, with A Deer's Tale; and Alexa Neilson, 9, with Toby.
"I'm so proud of you," librarian Alison Anson told the authors before they read their stories. "Several parents have contacted me and said they think this is something we should do all the time."
Alexandra's story, "The Deer in the Library, and How he Got His Name," involved a young buck with no name who is let into the library at night by cats, who happen to have a key, so he can look for a name. Alexandra's library sounds an awful lot like the Woodside Library.
"The buck was in love with the library at first sight," she wrote. "His eyes went straight to all the books, then to the nice places to read, then to the dragons on the ceiling."
Alexandra's buck loves books. "First he read very slowly, enjoying every word. He loved the description and adventure, because the only things he was used to reading were road signs and sometimes an old newspaper he'd find on the trail," she wrote
After reading library books for a week, the buck lets the other animals vote on a name for him.
"Some kids chose Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, the heroes from their favorite adventures and a couple little boys were set on Max from "Where the Wild Things Are,'" she wrote.
In the end, though, a goldfinch comes up the perfect name, Booker, and the animals adopt it.
"The buck jumped up on a tree stump and looked out at his new friends."Hello!" he said. "My name is Booker! Let's go read."
"And when he went back to the library that night he was not alone," Alexandra wrote.
Kate Erickson's story involved an alien spaceship that beams up a deer and takes it to another planet, where it turns into a statue, then is dropped back down to Earth, landing in the library
Jenna Lange's story was a fable about a race among the forest animals, and Alexa Neilson's fable included a witch that turns Toby the deer into stone.
Luke Zamboldi, the youngest winner, wrote a very short story in which a deer was delivered to the library, where he lived "the rest of his life and read lots of books.
A binder with all 18 contest entries will be at the library through November for those who want to read them.
Ms. Harrington said she was very happy that the contest inspired so many children to write. "I was very pleased," she said. "They took it very seriously. One father came up to me and said his daughter worked on it for a whole week at the end of the summer."