Persuasive Essay 2014 Winner

Kolby Ross
Grade 6
Kaneohe Elementary

Rafe Katchadorian has had the worst life possible. If he had any luck, it was bad luck. Sure, you have bad days here and there, but your problems are nothing compared to Rafe’s. James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts’ amazing book, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, definitely deserves the 2013 Nene Award. It has intriguing figurative language, superior conflicts, and leaves you begging for more as the pages come to an end.

Rafe was inside of his room, reflecting on how one thing had created this huge problem. His plan was not going the way he had imagined. He was probably going to be expelled from school, and with the stress his mom had already, he had piled on more. Nothing mattered anymore. He just wanted to die. “THUD!” Rafe ran outside to find his mom on the ground and Bear standing there, mouth wide open, like he had just seen an alien. Rafe was soon back in a police car, riding to the hospital.

Rafe, Georgia, and Leonardo were “sitting like rotting sardines in the back of a Hills Village Police Department cruiser.” I was shocked by the simile. It related Rafe, his little sister Georgia, and Leo to a can of rotting sardines, sitting there helpless, expecting the worst to happen. I imagined Rafe, Georgia, and Leo inside of the car, the walls seeming to creep closer and closer, shutting them in. I imagined myself in their place, between Georgia and Rafe, shaking like a leaf; my mind was racing, all my thoughts competing for center stage. I could feel the cuffs digging into my wrists, smell the stench of body odor, and see the red and blue lights flashing.

I treasured the conflict in this scene. Although there were many conflicts, such as Rafe vs. Miller the Killer, the particular conflict in this scene was expressed deeply throughout the whole story. The conflict is Rafe vs. himself. I believe that Leo the Silent represents Rafe’s conscious, telling him to break the rules. The whole book is a constant battle between Rafe and himself: whether he should listen to his mother and quit being such a delinquent or keep playing Operation R.A.F.E and become a bigger one.

Another impressive conflict in this scene is a person vs. person conflict. Jules and Bear, Rafe’s mom and future stepfather, are arguing over Rafe’s actions. The fight was foreshadowed a lot in the book. Jules believes that Rafe is just going through a phase, but Bear thinks that one day in detention means the next day in jail.

In conclusion, James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts’ superb book, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, undoubtedly deserves the Nene Award. It has startling figurative language, exhilarating imagery, and will keep you speechless as you read about the life of Rafe Katchadorian, an ordinary teenager, with a crazy plan.