October Winners

Jon Scieszka

Grades 3-5 (Level II)

In Episode I of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure, readers are introduced to Nancy and Joe, eleven-year-old twins who thought that they were orphans until they received a birthday car from their parents. They are going to have to do some serious detective work (fraught with peril!) to uncover their true family history. Uncover family secrets of your own by interviewing an older relative such as a grandparent or great aunt or uncle who can share memories of your family from before you were born. Ask about how your mom or dad celebrated their 11th or another very special birthday. Find out if there was a party, cake, presents, or guests. Write a story about what happened and why it was memorable.

  • Co-winners
    Memories of My Family from Before I Was Born
    by Kaitlyn O.
    Grandville, MI

    by Callan R.
    Grandville, MI

Grades 6-8 (Level III)

Jon Scieszka can show you his third grade report card and his Junior Bowling awards. He doesn't have his model airplanes though since he set them on fire. Choose something in your home that represents a part of your history or your family history. What is its meaning and significance to your family? Something in your house that seems ordinary, like an old suitcase, may have a very interesting story behind it or perhaps there's something that's proudly displayed, like a medal, which has a story to tell. Writing from the viewpoint of the object, describe the object in detail, explain how it came to be in your house, and who it is important to and why.

  • Winner
    The Quilt
    by Jackson C.
    Hughson, CA
  • Honorable Mention
    The Shiny Trophy
    by Max H.
    Ripley, NY
  • Special Humor Award
    I Am a Math Book
    by Christopher F.
    Overland Park, KS

Grades 9-12 (Level IV)

For hundreds of years, people have written songs about where they dwell from odes to sod houses to anthems about little pink houses. In many ways, a song is like a story. A song can be an excellent way to learn about our own social history, to get a point across, or to gain knowledge of facts-like the scientific facts in Jon Scieszka's parodies of old favorite poems and songs in his book, Science Verse. We're not looking for facts here, just a slice of life story. Write song lyrics about what makes your house (or apartment) a home or write about a place where you feel at home. The song does not have to be strictly autobiographical or factually accurate, but should generalize your feelings about your concept of "home" and help your listeners relate your song to their own experiences.

  • Winner
    Homeward Bound
    by Jewell K.
    Bonita, CA

Chris Van Dusen

Grades K-2 (Level I)

In If I Built a Car, Jack uses his imagination to create a car that is out of this world because he thinks his own red, wood-paneled station wagon is just okay and ordinary. What about your car? Write an observation about your car or a car you have ridden in recently. When you write an observation, you use your senses to describe it. Try to make the person reading your observation feel like they are in the car with you by including how your car smells, looks, sounds and feels as it travels down the road.

  • Winner
    Teresa Brewster's second grade class
    Thomaston, ME

    Emily B.
    Carmyn P.
    Lindsey L.
    Isabella T.
    Gage W.
    Nicholas L.
    Valerie L.

Grades 3-5 (Level II)

Advertising is a kind of persuasive writing. An advertisement will focus on the good things about a product to get people to buy it. Design your own car and write a magazine advertisement for it. Pick the one thing about your car that makes it better, different or special from other cars. You want people to buy your car, so when you are writing, think about potential buyers — what will make them care about your car? Remember, you are trying to convince people to buy your car, but you have to be honest.

  • Winner
    NGM: Red Hot Car Goes Green!
    by Nicolas G.
    East Hampton, CT
  • Honorable Mention
    Brand New! The Travel Car!
    by Ethan P.
    East Hampton, CT

Grades 9-12 (Level IV)

Cars are expensive, so buyers are always careful to look for as much accurate information as possible about the car they may purchase. Write a review of a car to help someone else choose the perfect car to buy. A car that a friend or family member drives would be a good car to review. Research your car and talk to people who have actually driven it. Also research how the vehicle compares to similar cars in terms of price, performance, features and quality. Make your review objective pointing out any negative features about the car as well as what you like about it. You'll need to give facts and your opinions about the car in a way that your reader can easily decide if this is the right car for them — or not.

  • Winner
    Honda Accord Review
    by Anindita B.
    Wyomissing, PA

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