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Jacqui Nickell
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Erin Entrada Kelly’s 2018 Newberry Medal winner Hello, Universe tells the story from the prospective of four middle school students as one of them becomes trapped in a well. These four unique teenagers are not friends, that is, until a prank turns disastrous. The epic quest begins and friendships blossom. The story ends with a cliffhanger, allowing readers to decide what happens next.
 
Mrs. Murgen’s 6th grade class read the story last fall. After they finished the story, she tasked her students with writing one final chapter. This open-ended assignment could be completed as a 300 word minimum written chapter, a video, or even as a piece of art.
 
Shelby Shook wrote an original piece that ended up being over 1800 words. Dalia Ranen wrote over 1200 words, updating all the characters as they got older. Rygel Farr wrote an especially sweet story. Adrian Chytil creatively composed one of the strangest nightmares ever. Alexa Biedler beautifully painted the three main characters while Connor Byrd and Sawyer Scarborough completed original drawings. Gracie Rabon and Hayden Walker made animations.
 
Mrs. Murgen enjoyed the next chapters from her students so much, that she decided she would contact Erin Entrada Kelly and share the amazing work. Within a week, the author had responded and was thrilled by the work of the Lakehill students. The creativity and passion within young minds is inspiring Erin Entrada Kelly to this day.
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