The graphic novel “Roller Girl,” by Victoria Jamieson, is the winner of the 2017 Nene Award, as voted on by Hawaii students.
The 2015 book, which won a national Newbery Honor in 2016, tells the story of 12-year-old Astrid, who discovers a passion for roller derby one summer while her best friend pursues dance. The two must learn to support each other in their separate pursuits as they prepare for middle school.
Each year, a committee of school and public librarians compiles a list of Nene Award nominees. Students vote for their favorite book from the list at public libraries and schools.
The winner was announced Saturday at the Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival. This year, 5,590 votes were cast; “Roller Girl” received 596 votes.
The runner-up with 570 votes is Katherine Applegate’s “The One and Only Ivan,” a story told from the point of view of a captive gorilla at a shopping mall who doesn’t question his glass-walled existence until he befriends a baby elephant recently taken from the wild.
Nene Award winners must be fictional stories targeted at fourth- to sixth-graders published in the past six years. The books must be the first in a series or be able to be read as a stand-alone story. Books must be written by a living author who hasn’t won a Nene Award in the past six years.
For more information or a list of previous winners, visit nene.k12.hi.us/index.html.