2008 Nene Awards Salute Author, Central Oahu Fans

Wednesday - June 25, 2008
By MidWeek Staff
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The annual Nene Award ceremonies May 9 aboard the USS Missouri Memorial had a salute for several Central Oahu children at the same time it celebrated the favorite authors of Hawaii’s keiki.

Each year, through the public library system, readers in grades 4-6 vote for their favorite book. But they also create essays, posters, digital art and performances to honor the author from the previous year.

The 2007 winner, Harry Mazer and his historical account A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor, inspired many children because it put a young child, Adam, through a trial by fire in locations familiar to all.

Travis Kim, a Mililani Ike Elementary fifth-grader, took first place in the poster contest for his grade. Jessica Tabe, a Mililani Ike sixth-grader, earned an honorable mention for her essay.

Of Mazer’s book, she wrote, “I learned about racial prejudice. When Adam’s father tells him not to hang around Davi, I realized that war is not just soldiers fighting. War also hurts people, like Davi’s family being taken away just because they’re Japanese ... Now I understand how complicated war is.”

In the digital arts contest, Blythe Ballesteros of Mililani Ike earned the honorable mention for grade 4. “I didn’t just learn how to use the computer, but I also learned about World War II.”

The winning author for 2008 - with 6,911 ballots cast - is Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief, a 12-year-old’s adventure into Greek mythology with an exciting weapon chase through America.

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