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‘NERDS’ spy fiction proves hit with students

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"NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society," by Michael Buckley, is the winner of this year’s Nene Award.

The annual award is presented to the favorite fiction book based on a vote by the children of Hawaii in grades 4 through 6. This year 5,329 students statewide cast their ballots at public libraries and private and public schools.

"NERDS" is the humorous story about a group of unpopular and nerdy fifth-graders who run a spy network from inside their school and do battle with an array of James Bond-style villains.

The Nene award runner-up was "The Lemonade War," by Jacqueline Davies.

Last year’s Nene award winner, "Found," by Margaret Peterson Haddix, was the inspiration for a student contest that celebrated the book through interpretive and persuasive essays and posters.

Winners in the student contest are:

» Interpretive Category (Digital Media): Fourth Grade Honorable Mention — Aspen-Marie Tong and Kacy Hama­oka of Maryknoll School; Fifth Grade Winners — Cady Abe, Claire Choi and Davis Lau of Maryknoll School; Fifth Grade Winner — Madelyn Wiggins, Hale Kula Elementary; Fifth Grade Honorable Mention — Braeden Taramasco, Kasandra Lee and Katelyn Schmisseur of Maryknoll School; Sixth Grade Winners — Wendy Mun, Christina Determan and Nathaniel Colman of Maryknoll School; Sixth Grade Honorable Mention — Chelsea Michel, Cameryn Mura­kami and Lauren Kane­shiro of Maryknoll School.

» Interpretive Category (Essay): Fourth Grade Winner — Michael Voss, Salt Lake Elementary; Fifth Grade Winner — Allyson Pang, Maryknoll School; Sixth Grade Winner — Jarred Hee, Kaneohe Elementary.

» Persuasive Category (Digital Media): Fifth Grade Honorable Mention — Thorin Jean of Maryknoll; Fifth Grade Honorable Mention — Tina Loos, Maryknoll School; Fifth Grade Honorable Mention — Daylie Smith, Hale Kula Elementary.

» Persuasive Category (Essay): Fifth Grade Winner — Brent Sohn, Hale Kula Elementary; Fifth Grade Honorable Mentions — Jabe Kahawaii, Kaneohe Elementary and Matthew Molinari, Hale Kula Elementary; Sixth Grade Winner — Hunter Fujitani, Kaneohe Elementary; Sixth Grade Honorable Mention — Carlee Matsunaga, Sacred Hearts Academy.

» Persuasive Category (Poster): Fourth Grade Winner — Brayden Bella, Maryknoll School; Fifth Grade Winner — Emily Kurth, Mililani ‘Ike Elementary; Sixth Grade Winner — Maile Griffin, Maryknoll School.

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