Alifrenka, Caitlin I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives, with Martin Ganda and Liz Welch. 380 p. Little Brown, 2015. $18. Content: PG (some teen drinking).
Just another pen pal writing assignment that thousands of American school students start every year. Most pen pals stop writing after a letter or two, but something different happened this time. Caitlin, a typical American seventh grade girl wrote to Martin, an impoverished boy in Zimbabwe, starting a friendship that changed their lives, especially Martin’s, forever.
I love how the authors carefully preserve their strengths and weaknesses throughout the long years. Caitlin doesn’t shy from showing how naïve and totally American she was and Martin shows his deep poverty and the great lengths he went to earn the money to answer Caitlin’s letters. I am not sure how much kids will embrace this book, but as an educator I loved it.
ADULTS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS