Saturday, June 4, 2011

answering children's letters Part 1

Holiday Evergreen FOREVER Stamps, Strip of 20
This afternoon I'm taking a break from a Fun Writing Project to answer some children's letters, a different sort of fun.

My post office box was stuffed with mail from all over -- Wyoming, Iowa and Michigan, northern Sweden, and from a Mennonite boy in Pennsylvania. What delighted me the most was that many of these children had tucked in return postage to encourage my response. Or as one third-grader wrote in her pretty handwriting: "P.S. I've included a stamp and when you get a chance to write me back to my school that would be awesome."

I'm hurrying because most of the return addresses are to the schools and I worry summer vacation has already started. If teachers would PLEASE tell their students to include a home address, there's a greater chance my letter will reach them. Or if such personal detail is a 'safety' issue, have the students write in the early spring with the date so I'll know in which order to answer.

Mail from young readers is always a thrill. One fifth-grade boy from Northampton thanked me for my books then went on to more substance: his love of playing football. "I was the nose guard. I'm that guy in front of the ball snapper. We won 4 and lost 4. Let's get off of football. My favorite color is orange and my favorite food is general tos chicken. It is chinese."

I love kids! They're so refreshing.

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