2007 Nēnē Award Essay Contest Winners

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

4th Grade Winner
5th Grade Winner
6th Grade Winner
Alecia Griffin
Aikahi Elementary
Katherine Seth
Aikahi Elementary
Christianne Michel
Maryknoll Grade School

 

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Alecia Griffin, 1st place
grade 4  Aikahi Elementary

         I think Eragon won the 2006 Nēnē Award because Christopher Paolini's book had comedy, action, and drama.  Many adults and kids enjoy funny books, but also books including action and drama.  I am surprised and amazed that Christopher Paolini could fit all three themes into one book, while still making it appropriate and fascinating to readers of different ages.
         In Eragon, an example of comedy was when Arya (a female elf) wanted to duel Eragon.  Eragon softened his bows, expecting her to not be in shape to duel him, but she turned out to be very ferocious and swift.  She ended up beating Eragon in the duel.  Another example of comedy was when Saphira and Eragon were talking to each other.  Eragon could tell that Saphira was jealous that he liked Arya, even though she denied it.
         Examples of action include when Eragon and Shade (Durza) fought each other twice, once neither of them was hurt, and Eragon later figured out he could only kill Shade by stabbing him in the heart.  The other time Eragon used magic and stabbed Shade in the heart, which destroyed him.  Another example of action was when Brom (a storyteller), Saphira, and Eragon fought the Urgals (leaders of the empire) and defeated them with some difficultly.
         In Christopher Paolini's book, I found many examples of drama.  One is when Brom died right after proving he was a rider to Eragon and asked him to take his blessing.  Another example of drama is when Eragon broke his ribs, and it prevented him from walking faster, and it was impossible for him to breathe deeply without a burst of agony. 
         Paolini's book inspires me to write my own stories including different themes and exciting and descriptive verbs.  I am glad he wrote a sequel to Eragon.

(300 word count )

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Katherine Seth,  1st place
Grade 5  Aikahi Elementary

         Eragon! It's fantastic, it's wonderful, it's - wait, I'm getting ahead of myself, let me explain. For the past two years, I have participated in the Nēnē program and I have really enjoyed it. I have read many books that are on the Nēnē list. Last year, in 2006, two of my favorites were Becoming Naomi Leon and Inkheart. However, Eragon, by far, was my favorite. Since it won the Nene Award, I assume that many other people shared my view. I think it won the Nēnē Award for two key reasons.
         First, I believe that many people like the idea of somebody regular and ordinary, like how Eragon was at the beginning of the book, a normal , insignificant farm boy, or in many of our readers cases, normal, insignificant school students, could have such a fantastic destiny, like becoming a Rider. I , who am also a normal, insignificant school student, hope that I have a great destiny and that my life is not just going to waste.
        Second, many people (including myself) loved the creativity and the imagination that Eragon has to offer. I love having the feeling that anything can happen and not be restricted by reality. I love the creativeness of the ancient language and I love the many layers of imagination that were woven into the story.
        Eragon has many wonderful traits, including the realistic characters, who have real human feelings of confusion and grief, the little touches of humor, peppered throughout the story, and the fantastic never ending action which kept me eagerly turning the pages. Eragon is a true work of art and is "edoc'sil," unconquerable. Let Eragon forevermore claim readers' hearts. Manin! Wyrda! Hugin! May your swords stay sharp!

(290 word count )

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Christianne Michel,  1st Place
Grade 6,  Maryknoll Grade School

A Boy and His Dragon

It's a typical plot: a boy and his canine companion face excitement and drama. If you like to read the classics, here's a new tale to enjoy! Eragon is an action-packed tale about a boy and his... dragon? Yes! In this story, Eragon and his dragon Saphira end up best friends. I think that adventure, heartwarming events, and an amazing friendship are what earned Eragon the 2006 Nēnē Award.
            Many adventures befall Eragon and Saphira. During the day they battle Urgals, track down the Ra’azac and invent code names. At night, the training begins. Duels take place with Eragon’s teacher Brom, an elf named Arya, and a man named Murtagh. Eragon’s skill grows with every dodge, stab and clash of sword on sword. With the scarlet blade at his side, Eragon trains until he is unstoppable.
            Excitement and friendship are woven together throughout the plot. Eragon is the newest of the dragon riders. Saphira is beside him in every battle. The two were thrust into the whole ordeal: evil king, only hope, that kind of thing. At first it was close to awkward, but their friendship grew. The dragon looked after Eragon like the mother he never had, stuck with him through thick and thin, and saved his life many times over. Eragon did as Saphira said, took care of her, and was a leader and companion.
            Saphira faithfully trains alongside Eragon. Readers watch their relationship grow and change. Eragon also befriends Brom, Arya, Murtagh, and other uniquely named characters. Eragon’s companions soften the story with their kindness and understanding.
            Eragon is a Nēnē Award winner because it’s exciting and action-packed but also contains love and friendship, which all readers can relate to. The best part is… there’s a sequel!
            Anyone seen my library card?

(295 word count )

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