Persuasive Essay 2011 Winner

Hunter Fujitani, grade 6
Kaneohe Elementary

             The Nene Award winning book for 2010 has a trail of mysteries, memorable moments, and an ending that is actually a beginning to another story. You will get lost in this black and white abyss called Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

             Jonah was confused with mixed emotions; his head was engulfed by sheer dizziness while his throat was filled with an agonizing pain. His stomach pushed everything wrong out of his system when an abrupt voice out of nowhere said, “Sorry, it wasn’t supposed to make you sick.” Jonah spun around vigorously trying to determine the source of the noise, thinking who said that? His eyes urgently searched his surroundings and spotted a janitor in the bathroom. But it wasn’t the same janitor who handed him the Mountain Dew. The janitor told Jonah to look in the file on Mr. Reardon’s desk. “There is no file on the desk,” replied Jonah. “There will be,” said the mysterious janitor. And when Jonah finally made it back to the office, which seemed miles away, mysteriously enough, there was a closed file on Mr. Reardon’s desk. This was the scene that I was the fondest of.
 I believe this moment triggered the primary conflict and Jonah’s life changing adventure.This set off Jonah’s urge to investigate the mystery of his true identity. Jonah had always known he was adopted, but he didn’t know that he was stolen from the past and brought into the present. But he was one of many. In the file that the janitor described, were the names of all the stolen children from history. This scene drove Jonah, Chip, and Katherine to go to the adoption conference, get stuck in the time hollow, and get sent to the 15th century.

            Margaret Peterson Haddix’s use of imagery and choice of words really made the scene come to life. I felt like I actually witnessed Jonah and the unknown janitor’s conversation, and I could feel the dizziness Jonah felt from drinking the soda. “Jonah spun around-or, spun as well as anyone could, three seconds after vomiting. A man in a gray maintenance-staff sweatshirt stood leaning against the tile wall, but it wasn’t the same janitor who’d given him the Mountain Dew. That guy had been older, paunchier. This guy was young and didn’t really look like a janitor somehow.” I visualized the whole scene, the now polluted toilet, the mindless Jonah, and the mysterious man’s gray maintenance sweatshirt. Although Jonah had no knowledge of this character at the time, the janitor was a time-traveling expert from the future whose decisions could impact Jonah’s life forever.

            The 2010 Nene-Award winning book, Found, will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time, and you might just fall off. Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Found is the gate opening to the path of adventure, filled with suspense. So open it up, and be prepared for an experience that you won’t forget.