SSJ Contest Winners

On Tuesday, January 30, two students from Sts. Simon & Jude School were honored at the 30th Annual Authors Festival, which is sponsored by the Huntington Beach Library. Each year, students are invited to submit their original stories or illustrations that exemplify the chosen theme. This year, the title of the contest was “If the Shoe Fits…Story of the Lost Shoes.”

Kaylee Tran, grade 3B, received the award for the “Best Illustrated Story.” According to the contest judges, nearly every page of Kaylee’s story had a lovely illustration, highlighting the action of the story. Her cover illustration was a wonderful multi-media piece emphasizing that a big heart is central to the story. In this story the main character is reading a Harry Potter book in the library when a pair of winged rainbow colored sandals tumble out of a book. The adventure begins: First with speed, hovering, and ice skating. But soon, as the character watches tragedies on the news, she thinks about how, with these fast shoes, maybe she could help people. This leads to her reflection that no matter what shoes we wear, unity and love are most important. Kaylee ended her story with “…it doesn’t matter if you’re small or big if you have a compassionate heart to everyone around you.”

Sofia Panter, grade 7A, received the award for “Most Imaginative Story,” and given the first lines of her creation titled, “Ghost Arena,” the award was well deserved. Sofia began her story with, “I didn’t plan on dying. Then again, most people don’t… The library’s plush carpeting muffled my footsteps. As I rounded the corner into the horror section, I stopped abruptly. There, sitting in the middle of tattered old books, were a pair of old-fashioned black boots, the type of shoes I’d always dreamed of wearing.” In Sofia’s story, the main character slips on the pair of old-fashioned boots she finds, and when she sits down to read, a skeletal hand pops out of the book and yanks her into the pages. The adventure continues to grow, with Sofia beautifully describing a strong, detailed world using lots of powerful language that leads the reader to an unforeseen ending.

We could not be prouder of Kaylee and Sofia, and I extend our sincerest congratulations to them. Their achievements are remarkable! I humbly suggest we get their autographs now before they become world-famous authors and we find ourselves saying, “Hey, I remember them!”