Keaouli Ross
Grade 4
Kaneohe Elementary

“Don’t move a muscle,” the Hyena said. Positioned directly above Jackson and the Hyena was a polar bear taller than a skyscraper. The beast, camouflaged with the snow, was dashing towards the two and prepared to damage. They made a run for it, but the Nathan Hale Elementary former star quarterback was no match for the four-legged ogre. The bear cornered them at the burning rocket without any way for them to escape. Then, Jackson noticed something in the corner of his eye. The icy terrain behind him was rapidly starting to dissolve! “He had to choose between two deaths.” I was amazed with this scene in NERDS by Michael Buckley. This marvelous, heart-pounding book deserves the 2011 Nene Award.

“Standing over them was a mountain of fur and claws - a nine-foot-tall polar bear with glistening yellow fangs and coal-black claws.” I adored the imagery in this scene. You can imagine the scene happening right in front of you wherever you may be. I could visualize in my mind’s eye how the superspy and professional assassin must have felt in the action-packed moment. As I read this scene, I saw myself as one of the two struggling in the thick snow and striving to survive. I could also hear monstrous growls that could make earthquakes.

I admired the hyperbole in this scene: “Standing over them was a mountain of fur and claws.” These words caused my heartbeat to rise so much that it gave me a headache and made my blood sugar overflow in my body. I thought I was going to faint! Michael Buckley’s use of spectacular figurative language in his writing hypnotizes the reader to read more and more until he/she is out of pages.

The conflict in this scene is nature against Jackson and the Hyena. The polar bear and the ice were Mother Nature’s children, and their mission was to chase the two tweens like a cat pursuing mice. Once the polar bear cornered Jackson and the Hyena, there was no way for them to escape.

This exhilarating book deserves the Nene Award for its amazing imagery and figurative language. It’s packed with action, adventure, and mystery, all in just one book. It will suck you in and won’t let you out until you too are a nerd!