2nd Annual Milpitas Library Writing Contest Winning Essays

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 by Milpitas_Library


The Milpitas Library Advisory Commission and the Milpitas Library teamed up once again and hosted the 2nd annual writing contest on Saturday, October 20, 2012. This year contestants had to write their essays at the library. Two hundred contestants in grades 4 to 12 wrote and submitted their essays for a chance to win a Kindle Fire.  Ten Kindle Fires were awarded!

The winning essays follow below. (Note: All essays were re-typed leaving in original spelling and punctuation.)

Essay Winners - 2nd annual milpitas library writing contest

Addison Rankin Genesie Quiliza-Castellano
Andrew Erevia   Jeanna Sheen
Cindy Ma   Kaelan Tan
Connor Lingle   Kareem Bailey
Gary Le   Serena Chen


Addison Rankin

John Sinnott Elementary

Grade 5

Why do you like the Milpitas Library?

I like the Library.

It is great.

for reasons,

I cannot quite Illustrate.


The shelves hold treasures,

Treasures of books.

Of swords and bows,

Or how a Martian looks.



to another world.

Or the boy who ate 73

hot dogs, and hurled!


Reading books,

makes me feel as if I could fly.

And if I could not read books,

Then I fear I would die!


It is a place,

for the whole family,

To go and read,

And enjoy and be free.


Yet, it is so much more.

The library holds information,

from ceiling to floor.

It is a place that I simply adore!


As you can see,

Books are important to me.

And the library allows many

to be read my me.


Thank You.

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Andrew Erevia

Thomas Russell Middle School

Grade 7

What has been your best experience at the Milpitas Library so far?

               I’ve had been to the Milpitas Library many times, but it’s not very hard to see which experience was my best. The Milpitas Library is a wonderful place that I like to go and just be me. I think that my best experience at the Milpitas Library was the fourth time I been here. One reason that I chose that experience is because I think that everyone around me was enjoing it with me.

               Their I was in the middle of my fourth grade class when my teacher Mrs. Yammatake said, ”Ready kids we are going on a trip . my whole class wondered where we were going, so we asked. Our teacher said that we were going to the Milpitas Library. I’ve remember only going to the library a few times so I was excited to see the inside again. At the time the Milpitas Library just was changed into a different building. As we walked there I saw tipical bulidings, that’s when I glanced at the amazing building. It was the Library! We walked in and it was amazing. I’ve never saw anything like it. I was ready to look around, but first we had to buy Library cards. Our teacher took us to a Lady that told us about the Milpitas Library. We learned a lot or at least I did. The lady told us about the old schools and landmarks. At the Library I had a great time and Learned a lot.

               At the Milpitas Library I had many great memories and still love to go there. My best time their was when I was in fourth grade on a feild trip. At the Milpitas Library I am happy and I know the people around me are too.

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Cindy Ma

Curtner School

Grade 6

Why do you like the Milpitas Library?

I’m walking through the automatic doors in the library, leading to the main lobby. As I hear my loud “thacks” from my sandals hitting the smooth, polished floor quieting, I know I have reached the Children’s Section.

There are various reasons why I enjoy exploring this library. Even though I’ve been here plenty of times, this place never gets old. I love this place from the books to the activities, to the staff. I guess you could say the library is my second home.

Books are spectacular. Every time I flip through a book, whether it’s a new shiny hardcover or an ancient torn paperback, I’m always captivated. Some of my favorite books include Harry Potter and Matilda or Urchin of the Riding Stars, all of which the library has.

The movies are magnificent too! Browsing for my favorite movies like “The Hunger Games” always is an enjoyable thing to do. Whenever I see that an amazing ne movie is ordered to be shelved at the library, I am so happy. Movies are so expensive now, so I really appreciate the library letting everyone borrow it for free.

And now the staff.  I love how they are in cheerful and helpful moods. When I need help, I walk right up to one of them and ask with-out any hesitation. They don’t intimidate me, unlike some other placed I’ve been to. Also, seeing how hard they work really touches me, seeing as how some people throw the books sloppily on the shelves. So whenever I see books misplaced I try to help them. I admit sometimes I don’t put the books back, but I try.

The library has always been there for me without anyone even knowing it.  I really appreciate the staff setting up this particular event I’m writing this for.

I walk out of the Children’s Section, my feet stepping towards the checkout center. I scan my books, piling all thirteen of them on the glass. While the books scan, I look around the library wondering when I’ll come back. As I walk out, into the garage, I hop in my mother’s car, and watch the building grow smaller and smaller, until it dissappears completely. “See you soon,” I think to myself.

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Connor Lingle

Randall Elem

Grade 6

Why do you like the Milpitas Library?

The Great Library

               Why do I like the Milpitas Library? I don’t, I love the Milpitas Library. Let me tell you why.

               The Milpitas library is part of my life. I couldn’t live without it. The Milpitas Library is full of wonderful books, exciting myths, and amazing stories. Book after book, there is always another one to read. I love to read, it is my favorite thing to do. Books full of suspense, action, and a touch of mystery. Books fill my imagination with crazy new ideas. And there is always a different kind of book genre to read so I could always expand my own vast library of knowledge and ideas. The library provides pretty much everything my imagination craves, and all for free.

               As a person who reads a lot, the library is like a second home to me. I could live there, completely content just being able to read all day. Every time I read a book it just increases my passion to read a new one. Another fairy tale world, or a book about the all powerful Greek gods. I read and read and all of these wonderful authors with their specatular books, it paints a picture in my head. You know how people say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, I think a book is priceless. No book is ever quite the same but they all have the same affect on me. All books inspire me. The thrill of reading a book, it’s like getting a sugar rush that never ends. And writing a book? The best feeling in the world, especially knowing that someday, your unknown talent could be recognized and someone else could get that same thrill you did when reading your own book.

               Those are only some of the reasons why I love the never ending expanse of imagination that comes from the library. I could tell you more about it, but unfortunately, I do not have the space or time to write it down .  This is where I end my little essay so as books usually say, the end.

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Gary Le

Milpitas High School

Grade 12

What is the one cool thing people may not know about the Milpitas Library?

               There is a secret in the Milpitas Library, hidden in plain sight and often overlooked. Few people notice it, but everyone needs it. It is the secret of the walls.

               History is built into the walls. Most people know, but seldom do they take time to ponder its significance. The Milpitas Grammar Scholl sits at the heart of the complex, a tribute to the past. In the last half-century, the City has grown from a farming community with corn abundant to our little suburb today. Through all those years, they grammar school has stood to help enlighten the youths of tomorrow. It is fitting that the central building contains our past. However, there is one more cool thing people are unaware of, the architecture. The grammar school still stands with its pristine columns, broad archs, and beautiful molding as a testament to the legacy of our past. But walk past the librarian’s desk and imagine every nook and cranny. Would you notice the sloping ceiling, how the walls are never straight? The architecture was built that way on purpose, seamlessly flowing together. It separates two eras of Milpitas’s history: the unforgettable past and the wild future.

               Still, there are more hidden delights in the walls of the Milpitas library, sometimes under them. A few winters have passed now; a rain storm perhaps; even a couple of blustery, spring days. Through all mother nature has to sling our way, there is solace in one thing: no feet will ever be cold while reading magazines. Concrete is a capricious substance, easily changing temperature to whatever the atmosphere may offer. To prevent the floor beneath the magazine racks from doing the same, an ancient technique was employed. As the romans had done ages before, the architects of the Milpitas Library had set pipes filled with water beneath the floors. Warm water would be pumped through which would diffuse heat throughout the concrete to prevent an unwelcome and chilly feeling. There, the modern and ancients times are again mesh.

               One last secret is the maze within the walls. Towers stand as stalwart sentinels of the library, but there is no visible way to ascend them. The key is once more behind the walls. The librarians and workers have their own network of hallways, stairs, and rooms that they use to travel through the building. It keeps the traffic own and work flowing smoothly. With this maze they can disappear and reappear where they are needed. Try to track a librarian! This maze is like a heart and veins that beat with life to keep every thing  and one moving. On any visit, pass behind a door that will not open and pause for a moment. If you press an ear and listen closely, you can hear the library’s steady pulse.

The walls have secrets, little things that few will notice. There were built to work quietly and in subtle ways. They were built with pride for the community and all its people. There were built for us.  One cool thing about the Milpitas Library are the wall were built with love.

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Genesie Quiliza-Castellano

Thomas Russell Middle School

Grade 8

What has been your best experience at the Milpitas Library so far?

And Out Came the Words

               In all honesty, I don’t come here that often. I’ve never really lost myself in this foreign world of words and pictures. I don’t have the time, I guess. But on those few occasions that I do visit… I don’t think there’s a better feeling. The serenity captivates me, and I find myself immersed in  literature. The heroes, the romance, the adventure and magic… they all come to life when I visit this place. I wake up in a new world, and I never wanted to come back home.

               I could go on and on this way, talking about the glory of the library. I could fill this paper and dozens more, just telling you about the things I’ve seen in my visits, but that’s not the prompt. I need to choose a single moment, and I need to capture it. So I guess I’ll go with the poetry slam.

               It was my first time entering, and I was a little bit of a wreck. There was the nonchalant façade, of course. I donned a confident demeanor, and told myself it was exactly how I felt. At the time, I was only there to get extra credit for language arts. I wasn’t a confident person. Palms sweating and knee bouncing, I watched one contestant go after the other until it was my name called.

               I think my heart stopped for a second. My knee ceased its bouncing at once, and I froze. I made my way to the podium stiffly, heart going from immoble to hare’s pace in only a handful of seconds. I glanced out of the corner of my eye to see the judges waiting expectantly. I drew a shaky breath and cast my gaze sideways in a silent plea for inspiration. The ringing in my ears kept me from remembering everything I had written.

               And then I saw them. In the corner was a group of friends with smiles no body on Earth could replicate. It inspired a new-found courage that spurred me…so I shut my eyes and began.

               I remember how easily the words spilled out when I began. They tumbled from my lips of their own accord and, all at once, my anxiety stopped. I was almost finished with my poem, but it stopped, nonetheless. With my last word, I came back to Earth. An eruption of encouraging cheers followed me back to my seat.  It wasn’t about extra credit anymore –I would be coming back.

               I didn’t win the poetry slam that night, but I came to a greater conclusion. As I cheered for my best friend’s success in doing what I could not, my resolve hardened. I wouldn’t come back for the prizes or the extra credit… I would come back because I loved how it felt to breathe out and let my feelings run free. And so it was that I concluded: My first poetry slam would not be my last.

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Jeanna Sheen

Challenger School

Grade 8

What has been your best experience at the Milpitas Library so far?

               My best experience at the Milpitas Library so far is the science show I watched this summer. My mom, who had just come back from picking up some books, handed me a flyer advertising the show. She urged me to go with my sister, saying it would be fun, entertaining, and interesting, but I declined. For the rest of the week my mom pestered me and tried every way possible to make me go. She emailed me, reminded every dinnertime, and even offered me a dollar if I agreed to accompany my sister, Joon. The day of the day of the show arrived, and at the last minute I gave in after my mom said, “If you’re not going, go do your homework!”

               We arrived at the library half an hour before the show began. My sister and I entered the big auditorium to find about thirty kids already there. The man who ran the show smiled and told us to sit down. When the show started, we watched bouncing bubbles, dancing fire, flying toilet paper, spinning rubber bands, a hot air balloon made of a trash bag, and many other amazing things. At one point a runaway balloon got stuck on one of the bright spotlights on the ceiling and needed to be blown down with a leaf blower. The man made jokes and told many funny stories, and we all roared with laughter, unfortunately, the show soon ended, and my sister and I returned home. My mom asked me if I liked the show. I replied yes, very much, and recounted every detail of it.

               That day, I learned to take other people’s suggestions and not turn them down immediately. In fact, this writing competition I am participating in now was suggested to me by my mom. I agreed to enter because I still remember her last suggestion. Who knows, this may very soon become my next best experience at the Milpitas Library.

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Kaelan Tan

Thomas Russell MS

Grade 8

What has been your best experience at the Milpitas Library so far?

               So far my best experience at the Milpitas Library was the speech and debate camp during the comer of 2012. I learned about public speaking and how to debate during the camp.

               While in the speech part of the camp, the other kids and I learned several effective techniques to persuade; intrigue, or convince our audience. It taught about several factors that might affect how our audience receives our speech. During this section of the camp we had to present our own speeches with all the techniques that we learned.

               During the debate section is where it really got fun. But first we had to learn the basics. Some examples of the basics are the format of a debate, how to effectively debate, and also some speech techniques for convincing. After learning the basics we held mock debates. This was an effective activity to use what we had learnt before hand.  In debate we Learned how to tie two things together such as fast food restarants and crime. This is where it became funny.  We tied the most serious thing ever with the most outlandish thing that could happen. Many connections were something like this: To intervene in the wars in the middle east, se have to take over Russia. You see, Russia provides some of the middle east with weapons, therefore to weaken the middle east we stop their arms supply.

               Overall, I believe that the best and most rewarding expirience  was the speech and debate camp. Which took place in this very room!

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Kareem Bailey

Thomas Russell

Grade 8

What has been your best experience at the Milpitas Library so far?

               There are many experiences at the Milpitas Library throughout the past years that have been, not only amazing to me, but to any others who attend this library. It is a very difficult choice for myself and other participants to choose from. Since I could only choose one, I would have to pick the contests. The contests her, are a great time to get up and have fun. These contests can teach you many new things and ideas you may not have learned.

               Why I chose contests for my answer, is because, these are chances to learn many new aspects of life. It also gives students faith, hope, and courage to show that we can do many new amazing things if you try hard. It does not matter if you win or lose, it’s the idea that you had a good time. I, myself have joined many contests at the Milpitas library including this one and I may have lost once in a while, but I still tried. I still go to experience many other students ideas and thoughts.

               I remember last year, as a seventh grader, my language arts teacher had mentioned a contest. He said it was a Poetry Slam, where you stand up on stage and read a poem you have written. I decided to give a try and write a poem. I had lost that contest and I was very disappointed, but then I thought it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about trying your hardest and taking a stand. The Milpitas Library had taught me that and I have been doing that ever since.

               These contests at the Milpitas Library are something I like to attend to whenever they might have one. I do not just do it for the prize, I also join just to do it and have fun. I may win or lose a contest, but I still had a great time trying. Plus, there are always other contests to give a shot at and try my best. At least I try my hardest.

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Serena Chen


Grade 4

Why do you like the Milpitas Library?

Why I like the Milpitas Library

     Do you think that only fools go to libraries? Do you think that the place is boring, too?  Well, supposedly, you’ve never actually gone to the Milpitas Library. It is actually way better than what you’d think any library would be like! There are lots of computers, books, rooms, comfortable chairs, and nice librarians! If you don’t like books, then you can spend time on the computers. Sometimes, as a special event, the library even displays movies in the activity room! Want to relax? Plop into a comfy chair! Feel like reading? Grab a book and go! Another good thing about the Milpitas Library is that, like many others, is a public library. You can check out books and DVDs from your account for free! You should just make sure to return the item back on its due date, though , but if you still want it, you can renew it! You can renew it twice before you actually need to return it.