2001 Nēnē Essay Winners

Fourth Grade Winners

Jessica Hall, Sacred Hearts
Elise Takebayashi, Kaneohe

Fifth Grade Winner

Amelia Linsky, Kaneohe Elementary

Sixth Grade

Tanya Alconcel, Sacred Hearts Academy

The winners were able to share their essays with the audiences at both the Press Conference at the Hawai'i State Library on April 12, 2002 and the following day at the Ward Warehouse National Library Week event sponsored by the Hawai'i Association of School Librarians.

photo of 4th essay winner
photo of 5th grade winner reading essay at HSL


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Fourth Grade Winner
Jessica Hall,
Sacred Hearts Academy

photo of 4th grade winner reading

Why I Think Holes Won A Nēnē Award

My teacher Ms. Yip read Holes to us during reading time at school. I think Holes won because its a very good book to read aloud or silently and its the best book I've ever heard.

I think Holes won because it has adventure such as when Zero and Stanley went across the lake, horror when the deadly lizards were on Stanley and Zero, and spunk when Zero went into the camp and got some food and water. It also shows discipline when all the boys at the camp had to dig holes under the hot sun. It's very funny too like when Zero and Stanley drank the sploosh (yuck!). In the end all the puzzle pieces come together, such as the boat Maryjane which is Sams that sank many, many years ago.

So that's why I think Holes won a Nēnē Award because, its a wonderful book to read when you're alone.






Fourth Grade Winner
Elise Takebayashi,
Kaneohe Elementary School

photo of tie fourth grade winner reading

Why I think Holes won the 2001 Nēnē Award

Many people think Holes is an intriguing book. So intriguing that it won the 2001 Nēnē Award.I think Holes won because there's two stories going on at once. Louis Sachar vividly describes his scenes in an interesting way. Although the title may sound boring, as soon as you get started, you can't put it down because it's so action packed!

Holes is actually two stories in one. One story is about a boy named Stanley. The other story is about Stanley Yelnats the First and a man named Sam. The stories switch back and forth. Both have unpredictable plots. Young Stanley is sentenced to dig holes for a crime he didn't commit. Meanwhile, the Warden is secretly using him as free labor to find hidden treasure. In the second story, you go back in time to tales of Stanley the First and Sam, whee Sam is faced with racial prejudice.

Holes is interesting because Sachar describes things vividly. He writes sentences like, "The days grew so hot that we started digging long before the sun came up." I groaned at the thought of waking up early to dig holes in the dark.

People who bypassed Holes probably weren't interested in the title. My mom thought Holes was about wormholes in space. She ha dno idea it was about a boy digging holes as punishment. My friend Joyce wasn't interested in Holes until I persuaded her to read it. She finished it in two days! As soon as one adventure ends, another begins and you hop between the past and the present.

In summary, Holes is a great book with two stories for the price of one. It's well-written and filled with mystery, intrigue, history, and adventure. Don't let the title fool you into the mistake of not reading it.





Fifth Grade Winner
Amelia Linsky
Kaneohe Elementary School

photo of 5th grade winner reading

Why I Think Holes Won the 2001 Nēnē Award

In 2001, Holes by Louis Sachar won the Nēnē Award. Everyone loved it. But why? Three reasons I think Holes won the award are (1) it has an interesting storyline, (2) two stories are blended subtly into one, and (3) eloquent ideas are expressed by only a few words.

The storyline is very coincidental, yet the way it’s written gives the reader the impression that it’s possible it could happen. For example, though it was Zero who stole ‘Sweet Feet’ Livingston’s shoes and Stanley who was found with them, both boys landed in Camp Green Lake where Stanley righted a wrong that had stood between his and Zero’s families for centuries.

There are two stories told in Holes, years apart but closely related. Stanley’s story takes place in the here-and-now with flashbacks to what Camp Green Lake was before the lake dried up. Eerily, as the story progresses, the flashbacks clarify events, like when Stanley and Zero weren’t hurt by deadly lizards. Then there was a flashback where an onion man explained that ‘lizards don’t like onion blood.‘

Most sentences in Holes are only a few words, and there are paragraphs consisting of a one-word sentence. Yet Louis Sachar conveys several ideas in one short chapter. I think that short sentences encourage kids to read. The problem is that it’s not easy to think of single words that will get the message across. But Louis Sachar can and did, making an easy-to-read book even though the ideas are heavy.

It takes a good writer to state so many ideas in one short chapter and then blend two stories into one. When both are combined to make an interesting story, there you have it – a wonderful book. This one was called Holes: a one-word (yet interesting) title for a great book.

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Sixth Grade Winner
Tanya Alconcel
Sacred Hearts Academyl

photo of 6th grade winner reading.

Why I think Holes won the 2001 Nēnē Award

I read Holes for the first time when I was about 10 years old. A friend, whose name was Brandi, recommended that I read that book. She said she couldn't put it down once she began reading it. " It was really interesting, " she told me. " This kid is sent to a juvenile detention center for stealing a celebrity's shoes. The kids there have to dig holes all day long. Then at the end of the day, they have to fill the holes and do the same thing all over again each day for the whole summer. " The thought of bad kids digging senseless holes as a fruitless punishment made me laugh. The interesting and original plot is probably what won Holes the Nēnē Award for 2001. I couldn't wait to read the story.

Holes begins when the main character, Stanley Yelnats IV, was wrongly accused of stealing his idol's shoes, so was sent to Camp Greenlake, a juvenile detention center where the kids there have to dig a hole each day to improve their character. Stanley eventually discovers the secret of Camp Greenlake and connects the events that happened in the past along with the present. The events that were presented in flashback about Stanley's ancestors and people like Kate Barlow and Sam the onion man were very interesting. The author did a wonderful job of keeping the reader's attention and making them interested.

The book was funny and serious. I loved the part when the " Sploosh " - or spoiled canned peaches - became foot fungus reliever, and in the end where Camp Greenlake eventually became a Girl Scout camp. I would highly recommend this book to people of all ages to read.

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