School Years 4 to 5 Winner The Life of William by William Shacaluga
Once there was a boy called William, who looked pretty ordinary, except for a cool scar on his forehead.
William told us about a time when he was practicing a play at school. He was meant to play a solo part the following day for the parents. That afternoon, William went to his grandparents' house for tea. Well, poor little William did not see what was coming. Do you want to know what happened next? I'll tell you.
He left his shoes lying around and he accidently tripped over one and then tripped over the other one. He fell and cracked his head open. There was blood everywhere. William's grandfather called the ambulance to take him to the hospital. In the ambulance, William passed out and woke up at the entrance to the hospital. The doctors stitched his head up and he now has a permanent scar.
Now that you know what he looks like on the outside, let me tell you about his inside, which is super and will blow your mind.
One thing to tell you quickly, is that William is dyslexic. This means he finds school hard, but he knows it's a huge advantage in proper life. There are seven types of dyslexics that he told us about. There are storytellers, makers, entertainers, movers, imaginers, questioners and 'people' people. Surprisingly, William is all of these, which makes him very special. Very few people are dyslexic and not many people are all these things in one.
He loves to invent stories. William can create worlds in his mind in the blink of an eye. His imagination can run wild. He loves to build and he's very good at creating. He makes people laugh and they enjoy being around him. He is always on the move and he loves making up games. He loves to ask questions like 'Why not?' and he is amazing at understanding how other people are feeling.
William has left you some advice.
"Do not be afraid, dyslexics. I know how you feel and I know how you think. Don't be scared of the world".
Judge Charles Durante’s comments:
“We all have an outside and an inside. William sports a scar on his head, the result of a fall over his shoes which required medical attention and a few stitches. However, in William’s case, his mind is far more interesting as he is dyslexic. His dyslexia is not a drawback; instead, it means he is endowed with a whole range of skills, seven to be exact, which make him into a multi-faceted individual. There is a freshness and innocence about William that endear him to the reader. The story ends with a word of advice: engage with the world, your dyslexia should be a spur to commit yourself and not an excuse to keep your distance and become a recluse.”