The Library of Congress is sponsoring a summer essay contest in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region encouraging rising fifth- and sixth-grade students to reflect on a book that has made a personal impact on their lives. Palmerton Area Library in Palmerton is a participating location.

The "A Book That Shaped Me" Summer Writing Contest is administered as part of summer reading programs at participating public libraries. Prizes will be awarded and top winners will be invited to present their essays during a special presentation at the Library of Congress National Book Festival Sept. 21-22 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C..

Students entering fifth and sixth grades in the fall of 2013 are eligible. Essays should be one page in length and must be submitted with an entry form in person at the Palmerton Area Library. The deadline for entries is Monday, Aug. 12. Librarians at the library are available to provide guidance to students preparing essays for contest entry.

"A Book That Shaped Me" will award prizes to five finalists and one winner per state, and to three overall grand prize winners. The three grand prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges assembled by the Library of Congress including educators, children's authors, and Library of Congress staff.

Submission forms are available at the Palmerton Area Library, 402 Delaware Ave. The full list of participating libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region, more information, and program updates will be available at www.loc.gov/bookfest/kids_teachers/booksthatshape/.

Launched in 2012 with the D.C. Public Library, "A Book That Shaped Me" is expanding throughout the Mid-Atlantic region in its second year with the help of public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. More than 270 public libraries are registered to participate.

The Palmerton Area Library is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. During the months of July and August the library will close at 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Check the library website at www.palmertonarealibrary.com for information about library activities, or its Facebook page. Call the library at (610) 826-3424 for more information about this contest.