Persuasive Essay 2014 Honorable Mention

Dillon Shintani
Grade 4
Kaneohe Elementary

“Wah-Ah! wah-Ah! wah-Ah!” The fire alarm beeped as Rafe Khatchadorian, a regular kid who was barely surviving middle school, pulled down the alarm. Children rampaged out of the gym right into the field. He had joined the herd like he had “just finished his business.” He had done all of this just to break one small rule! This is my favorite scene from the 2013 Nene Award winning book, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts. I would rate this book five stars.

I love how James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts showed the personalities of Rafe and Leo the Silent in this scene. When Rafe pulls down the fire alarm, it really shows how naughty he could be just to show off. I do not think that it is worth it to make the whole school go outside just for a few points. I can visualize Rafe looking good on the outside, but his talent is being super bad. It also shows that Leo is his supporter since he told Rafe to pull down the fire alarm. Later in this book, you will find out that Leo is actually Rafe’s imaginary friend and twin brother who passed away. I enjoyed how the authors hid this secret throughout most of the book.

“Meanwhile, the fire alarm was still blaring- WAH-AH! WAH-AAHHH! WAH-AH!” I like the imagery in this scene. The annoying alarm nearly made my head blow up into a million pieces. I could feel the struggle in the stampede of children of all ages. I felt as if I was actually pulled into the book and got trapped in the chaos of the herd of kids trying to escape the false fire rush. The deafening fire alarm barely let me hear my own thoughts. I am sure that anybody reading this book would be sucked into the book just like I was.

I like how James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts used internal conflict in this scene: person vs. self. “I could just hear Leo now, like he was right there. Don’t think about it. Just DO it!” When Rafe was about to pull down the alarm, he was debating whether to go and pull the alarm or not pull the alarm. However, his conscience (Leo) convinced him to pull the alarm. After he had pulled the alarm and had gone outside, Leo double high-fived him. Rafe wondered if he should be proud or feel guilty. This showed that he was having internal conflict, but he felt more proud than guilty.

In conclusion, I think that Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts is an awesome book. I see why the children of Hawaii selected this book for the Nene Award. This will be my favorite book forever.