2003 The Bad Beginning Nēnē Essay Winners


4th Grade Winner
5th Grade Winner
6th Grade Winner
Rachel Ray
Kaneohe Elementary School
Tyler Mendes
Kaneohe Elementary School
Miranda Glenn
St. John Vianney Parish School

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4th Grade Essay Winner
Rachel Ray from Kaneohe Elementary School

The Bad Beginning

Hey you! Yeah you! Did you read The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket? In 2003 it won the Nēnē Award. here are two reasons why I think it won the award: One, the author described the characters and setting with such detail that it was as if you were there (in the book) and cold see exactly what he was talking about. And two, The Bad Beginning has a lot of adventures (though they might not all be very cheery ones.)

In the first part of The Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket describes Violet, Klaus, and sunny right down to their personalities. For example, Violet is the eldest Baudelaire, at 14. Violet, very unlike other girls, loves to invent. and when you see her hair tied up, it is to keep her hair out of her eyes so that something as simple as her hair would not distract her mind while thinking of something to invent. Violet is a very polite girl who is very good with gadgets. Though Violet is nice, misfortune follows Violet and her siblings everywhere.

The Bad Beginning also has lots of adventures. (When I say “adventures”, I don’t mean happy adventures with pixies, and ponies. I mean adventures with people who want to take your money and kill you.) For the Baudelaire children, living with Count Olaf, is a big adventure. This adventure gave the Baudelaire children a chill up their spines that seemed to never go away. This adventure, they never forgot.

This book is great for people willing to read something without a happy ending, lots of detail, and a bit of adventure. If The Bad Beginning sounds good to you, read it! Then once you’ve read it, I bet you’ll read it again! - oh yes, I must say this too:
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket RULES!

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5th Grade Essay Winner
Tyler Mendes from Kaneohe Elementary School

Why I Think the Book The Bad Beginning Won the Nēnē 2003 Award

The book, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, is not your typical fictional story where the characters live happily ever after. This story is filled with non-stop tragedy yet it is still entertaining. It also has attention grabbing events. That is why I think the book The Bad Beginning won the Nēnē Award for 2003.

The book started with tragedy and there was tragedy and unfortunate events throughout the story. Like in the beginning of the story, Violet, sunny and Klaus’s parents unexpectedly died in a house fire leaving them orphaned. The Baudelaire children had no relatives that could be found on such short notice to care for them other than Count Olaf. Count Olaf was mean, greedy, and wanted the family’s fortune. he treated the children like they were his servants. For example, he ordered the children to cook meals for his theater troop and when Klaus complained, Count Olaf struck Klaus in the face. Another example of their misfortune and his meanness is when Count Olaf kidnapped Sunny and kept her locked in a birdcage. Finally, Count Olaf blackmailed Violet into marrying him so he could control her money.

Lastly, there were attention grabbing events like at the end of the book during the play, Count Olaf’s plan to marry Violet is ruined. The lights suddenly go out and everyone is panicking. Everything is happening so fast, people are tripping over the props, and Mr. Poe tried to grab Count Olaf but instead got his wife by accident. Before Count Olaf escaped into the night, he whispered into Violet’s ear that he would be back to kill her and her siblings. That’s what I call an attention grabbing event!

As you can see, the book, The Bad Beginning is a tragic, and exciting book. It also has a dramatic ending and is a very detailed and descriptive story. That is why I think this book won the Nēnē Award for 2003.

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6th Grade Essay Winner
Miranda Glenn from St. John Vianney Parish School

Why I think The Bad Beginning Won the 2003 Nēnē Award

Our school librarian, Mrs. Jeremiah, read us the book, The Bad Beginning. I had already had the pleasure of reading Mr. Snicket’s entire series, and found hearing it again even more enjoyable for a number of reasons.

The Bad Beginning is unusual, but that gets you addicted. Lemony Snicket blends humor with sophisticated vocabulary for an end result that leaves you wanting more. Taking something extremely unfortunate and twisting it into something funny is not easy to do.

A story about how three children have everything they want and suddenly have it all taken away is not necessarily a book that you think people would enjoy, unless that person really enjoys sadness and depression. Mr. Snicket drew my attention when he asked people not to read The Bad Beginning. He has a style all his own, as strange as that style may be, and that is another reason I think this book won the 2003 Nēnē Award.

Mr. Snicket creates characters that you care about. you feel sad when the intelligent Klaus is struck by the sinister count Olaf, happy when Violet, the inventor of the family, creates an invention and makes it work, and you can’t help laughing at baby Sunny’s dialogue. I also found myself clapping and cheering, but not exceedingly loud, when Count Olaf had his plans foiled and near tears when he escapes the imprisonment that he deserves.

I am usually not emotional when I read a book, but this book really affects you. I agree that The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket truly deserves the 2003 Nēnē Award.

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