Monday, May 21, 2012

on being angelic, and simultaneously, edible and tuber-like

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been getting the greatest emails from kids -- mostly thanks to Kristen Pelfrey's Angel Potato kids.

It's funny, though, because I think her kids have been under the impression that if you write to a writer, the writer will not write you back.

I'm sure there are plenty of writers out there who are "too busy" to write a letter back to a kid. But writing to a kid is kind of like planting a future garden, or something like that. How can it not have a positive impact on the people who will be ruling the world when we are all dead?

Anyway, I always write back to kids.

One of them said this about his teacher: I am one of the Awesome Angel Potatoes of Kristen Pelfrey. She tells me that you are head-explodingly busy and stressed, but she says I should write to you anyway. I just read one of your books, Stick, and I thought it was very amazing and I wanted to tell you that. I loved the whole book, and it had my interest the whole time(which is quite amazing, its hard to keep my interest for long), and I had to read it whenever I could. 

And, from another:  I am a student of Kristen Pelfrey's Education in the Digital Age class. I just finished reading your excellent book, Stick. I am an avid reader, but I have to say this is one of the best books I have ever read. As soon as I started reading, every detail was so vivid in my mind, I felt as if I was actually there witnessing all of the events.

And, from Angel Potato 3: I am a student of Kristen Pelfrey and I also am one of her Angel Potatoes. I am in her Education in the Digital Age class at my high school. I read your book, Ghost Medicine and I was incredibly moved by such an amazing piece of literature. It was a really spectacular novel! I loved the characters, and was moved by their actions and the outcome of the story.

And, finally, one of my favorite exchanges came from a kid who surfs, who knows all the places I described in Stick, the places where I used to surf. I told him about how I was recently speaking to a group of adults who'd read the novel, and they were all so fascinated and repulsed -- and wanted to know if it was really true -- that surfers pee in their wetsuits.

It doesn't get much better than that.

He said this: I am in Kristen's class.  She gave me your book Stick at first I didn't believe I would like it very much but when I got home and started reading I couldn't put it down.  I read and read throughout the afternoon and in to the night.  I finally was yelled at to come to the dinner table by my mom.

Ease up, Mom!

And, finally, speaking of moms, my friend, author Lisa Yee, has a son who is 1) exactly one day older than my daughter, and 2) a big fan of all things Marbury. So I arranged for the kid to receive a special present of an ARC of Passenger, the forthcoming sequel to The Marbury Lens.

Lisa was so kind to send me a photo of the kid -- all smiles -- holding up his copy of the book.

It's such an amazing thing to see, when we can actually make kids happy about reading.

Thanks, Lisa, and happy birthday, kid.