East Hawaii News

‘Wonder’ Voted as 2015 Nene Award Winner

April 10, 2015, 1:15 PM HST
* Updated April 10, 1:17 PM
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Children of Hawai’i have named “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio as the winner of the 2015 Nene Award. The book is a number one New York Times bestseller.

The 51st Annual Nene Award Presentation Ceremony was held at Sacred Hearts Academy on Oahu Thursday. Justin Cruz of the Pacific Outpost of the 501st Legion, dressed as Darth Vader, made the award announcement along with Storm Troopers and other Star Wars characters to an audience of dignitaries, students, teachers, and other guests at the ceremony.

Katherine Applegate’s “The One and Only Ivan” won the Nene Honor Book Award as runner-up.

Each year, children in Hawai’i between the fourth and sixth grades vote for their favorite fiction book, and the Nene Award is presented to their favorite. For the 2015 award, 5,497 students voted from 66 public libraries and private and public schools throughout the state. Every school public library and school that participates in the voting gets a copy of the 2015 award-winning title from Perma-Bound Books.

Palacio’s “Wonder” follows a 10-year-old boy who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive. The boy, Auggie, is home-schooled until he reaches the fifth grate, at which time he enters a private middle school in Manhattan. At the new school, he is faced with taunting and fear and he struggles to be seen as just another student.

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Students were also honored at the ceremony for their digital work, essays, creative writing, and posters that celebrated 2014 Nene Award winner Tom Angleberger’s “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.”

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Persuasive Category, Essay:

Cassidy Furutani of Kaneohe Elementary, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Michael Quinn of Kaneohe Elementrary, 4th Grade Honorable Mention

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Persuasive Category, Digital Media:

Carolei Edra of Sacred Hearts Academy, 6th Grade Winner

Mana Harada of Maemae Elementary, 4th Grade Winner

Graysen Oumi of Kaneohe Elementary, 4th Grade Winner

Interpretive Category, Creative Writing:

Kelly Thieu of Sacred Hearts Academy, 6th Grade Winner

Alexander Law of Maryknoll, 6th Grade Honorable Mention

Allison O’Connor of Waikiki Elementary, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Kela Seavey of Waikiki Elementary, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Camille Dias of Waikiki Elementary, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Emma Rudy of Maryknoll, 4th Grade Honorable Mention

Interpretive Category, Digital Media:

Emma Kauhane of Sacred Hearts Academy, 6th Grade Winner

Ian Nakashima of Maryknoll, 4th Grade Winner

Noah Hata of Maryknoll, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Jaren Kaneshiro of Maryknoll, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Dylan Shimomi of Maryknoll, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Persuasive Category, Poster:

Annika Lindberg of Sacred Hearts Academy, 6th Grade Honorable Mention

Rachel Huang of Sacred Hearts Academy, 6th Grade Honorable Mention

Ayla Hakikawa of Sacred Hearts Academy, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Mandy Kim-Fu of Mililani ‘Ike Elementary, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Emi Okazaki of Mililani ‘Ike Elementary, 5th Grade Honorable Mention

Cody Chun of Mililani ‘Ike Elementary, 4th Grade Honorable Mention

The Nene Award is made possible through support of the Hawai’i State Public Library System and the State Department of Education. Sponsors of the award include the Hawai’i Association of School Librarians, Hawai’i Library Association, Follett Library Resources, Perma-Bound Books, Sacred Hearts Academy, and Scholastic Book Fairs.

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