2002 Nēnē Award Essay Contest Winners

Thank you to the 17 schools that participated... 105 essays were submitted to our judges this year!
Congratulations to our winners ...

Grade 4
Erin Lengerke
'Aikahi Elementary

Grade 5
Cameo Lethem
Kaneohe Elementary

Grade 6
Edwin Torres
Maryknoll Grade School

 

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Grade 4 Winner
Erin Lengerke, 'Aikahi Elementary

The Best Nēnē Winner Ever

Overalls: $10.00; suitcase: $20.00; memories of your family: priceless. Bud's mother is gone, and he doesn't know where his father is, but Bud's got a pretty good idea of who his father is. All Bud has is a suitcase full of memories. The three reasons I think Bud, Not Buddy won a Nēnē award are because it was funny, I could relate to Bud, and I liked the way the author used his words.

I think Bud, Not Buddy won the 2002 Nēnē Award because it was so funny. Herman E. Calloway's band decided to call Bud "Sleepy La Bone". Herman E. Calloway's band called Bud "Sleepy", because Bud slept until noon his first day at Herman's house. They called him "Bone" because he was skinny and "La" gave it class. Another funny part was when Bud poured water on Todd to make it look like he wet his pants, because Todd's mom hated bedwetters.

Another reason I think this is a Nēnē Award winner, is that I could relate to Bud because I am the same age as Bud and I think the same way that Bud does. I liked how I could relate to Bud's character. I am determined to do well in school like Bud is determined to find his family. I also value my family just as much as Bud values the memories of his family.

I loved how Christopher Paul Curtis used his words. My favorite saying from the book was, "Kiss my wrist". That meant there was no way Bud was going to do what you said. Another saying was when Bud said, "I never swapped spit with a girl before". That meant that he never kissed a girl before.

I think Christopher Paul Curtis did a fabulous job writing Bud, Not Buddy. It was funny, I could relate to Bud, and I loved his words. I never wanted it to end.

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Grade 5 Winner
Cameo Lethem, Kaneohe Elementary

Why I think Bud, Not Buddy Won the Nēnē Award

Why do you think Bud, Not Buddy won the Nēnē award? I thought this book won the Nēnē award because it was very realistic, exciting, and hilarious. I had many different reactions to each sentence, paragraph, or chapter. I laughed when there was something funny and I jumped with something freaky or weird happened. Now listen and I'll tell you more of what I have to say about why Bud, Not Buddy won the Nēnē award.

I thought this book was very realistic because the author, Christopher Paul Curtis, had described the scenes with such detail. I could actually hear the train moving and the suitcase flying toward Bud. I also could hear Bugs screaming. I think I got a headache after reading that. My favorite descriptive part was when the band was playing. I could hear everything, even Bud clapping. I could just imagine Miss Thomas with all those rings singing, "Lad da deda, ha!"

Bud, Not Buddy was also a very exciting book because it was hard to guess what was coming next. Inside the Amos's shed was very scary and exciting. The shed had three fish guards, which Bud cut himself with. The shed was very dark, and Bud saw a giant black spot in the floor. Up above was a giant vampire bat. Bud got ready to hit the bat. I knew that if Bud missed the vampire bat, he would be in big trouble. I didn't realize it would be a hornet's nest. I was really surprised that Bud didn't cry when he got stung by the hornets or smashed his hands into the fish guards. As soon as something like that happened to me, I would burst out sobbing. I would probably have died trying to break that shed window.

I thought Bud, Not Buddy was really funny. For example when Bud was so thirsty in Mr. Lewis's car, that he backwashed his sandwich. I thought that was amusing, and kind of disgusting. When Bud goes over to live with the Amos's, a naughty boy by the name of Todd sticks a pencil up Bud's nose. That was also another funny scene. And finally, I thought it was very ridiculous when Bud realized that Miss Thomas took off his clothes when he was sleeping. I bet many people laughed at that part.

Those are some of the many reasons why I thought Bud, Not Buddy won the Nēnē award. My favorite scenes include Bugs screaming, the band playing, and Bud meeting his grandfather. I am sure Christopher Paul Curtis will continue to write fascinating books. I have also read The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963. That was almost as good as Bud, Not Buddy.

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Grade 6 Winner
Edwin Torres, Maryknoll Grade School

Why I think Bud, Not Buddy Won the Nēnē Award

I think Bud, Not Buddy won because it talked about how important it is to belong to a family. A family supports you, helps you, and gives you a shoulder to cry on, but most of all it provides you with love.

I can't even picture someone without a family but there are some people out there who don't have one, which is very sad. Take Bud, he had no one. all he had were the memories of his mother and the things she taught him before she died.The day his mother dies the love went out of his life but not his desire to have love in his life again. She told him that for every door that closed another door would open. It seemed like a lot of doors closed and not too many opened, but he still had hope.

Bud met a lot of people, even if it was only a temporary situation like the family who adopted him in the food line and all the other kind people who became foster families along the way. It gave him hope. Bud was searching for the love he once knew and wanted to know again.

It seems that Bud may have been the one who would be considered lucky to find people who would be like a family to him. However, those people were probably the ones who gained more because in sharing kindness with Bud, they became better people. This is like my aunt who has adopted two children from Guatemala. These two children would have remained in an orphanage and now they are in a family who loves them. Who knows how long it would have taken for a family to choose these babies. When someone tells my aunt how lucky the children are, she replies, "I'm the lucky one." Now that's love.

Bud, Not Buddy is a prime example of love and hope in this world, and of finding a "family."

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