Persuasive Essay 2011 Honorable Mention

Jabe Kahawaii, grade 5
Kaneohe Elementary School


            The cave was hot and muggy.  It was dark and the only light source was a dim light bulb hanging from the rocky ceiling.  The light in the cave displayed ghostly shadows on the people around Jonah.  He was worried, sweat streamed down the side of Jonah’s head.  He discovered that he was actually from…the fifteenth century.  Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a heart pounding thriller that always leaves you at the edge of your seat.

            The events in the cave foreshadow later chapters when Jonah and Chip discover their true identities.  Hints were given when JB exclaims, “You aren’t supposed to bring that into the twentieth century.” Also, when Mr. Hodge reminds JB that one of the other adopted children, Ming, is only a minor Chinese princess from the fourth century.  Jonah hears these conversations but can’t fully understand or want to understand what this will mean to him.  For example, Jonah realizes that others are not from this time, and he may not be also.

            At this point, the scene in the cave is the crisis of the story.  The conflict is reaching a turning point because Jonah is finally realizing that the others are not from the twenty first century.  Mr. Hodge and Gary seem to know who he is or at the very least about who he was.  This is the first time all the characters come together in the story:  Mr. Hodge, Gary, JB, Jonah, Chip, and Angela.  The reader interprets clues about what is going to happen by the conversations that are taking place between the characters.  Jonah soon finds out he’s NOT from this time.

            Amidst all the tension, Jonah is feeling very conflicted with himself.  He is unsure who to believe.  He hears Mr. Hodge and JB arguing about who the children should believe.  Jonah is still deciding who to trust.  If he goes back in history with JB, then he will lose everything he has; if he goes to the future with Mr. Hodge, he will start his life all over again – as a baby.  He soon acknowledges that he has been making excuses for things he has seen and heard because they were too unbelievable and unfamiliar to him.

            Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a spectacular book that deserve s the 2010 Nene Award.  The story had many twists and turns, clues which foreshadowed events to come, a mysterious and exciting crisis, and a man vs himself situation.  I think Found was an excellent book.  It definitely held my attention and I couldn’t wait to read more.