Monday, April 21, 2014

Letters from Readers

Letters from students at a Winnipeg school.

It's been a few years since I've received fan mail from students who are reading my books. 

Back in the days when I wrote novels for the middle grades, I was fortunate to have three of them nominated for the Silver Birch Award. Students participating in the program would often write to the authors whose books they were reading to say they were going to vote for their book as the favourite. 

Sky Lake Summer was the first of these books for me, and in those days before email, the letters would come in big brown envelopes sent by the schools. The Path Through the Trees was the last. 

Last week I received letters from a grade 5–6 class in a Winnipeg School. They had been reading two of my books in class. Treasure at Turtle Lake and The Deep End Gang.  

I am grateful to Scholastic Canada Ltd. for including these books in one of their literacy packages,  Moving Up with Literacy Place (4 to 6), which means they're still being read in the schools. 

I love the honesty of kids of this age. If there are parts of the book they don't like, they tell you. You can usually spot the letters where the teacher has given a little coaching. Who was their favourite character, and why? What inspired the author to write this book?

Several of the letters in this recent batch are hand illustrated, sometimes using themes from the story. I appreciate the extra time spent in producing these.

Like all my "fan" mail. I will keep these missives and treasure them always. And now I must get busy and answer each one.  

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