22 March 2006

Reading Pen Pals

Here's a great initiative: Reading Pen Pals. The adults who participate are asked, first, to choose a book they love: "Something you’ve read to your children … the best book you read in high school … a book you’ve heard kids talking about that made you curious: any book that you think a reader (up to grade 12) might enjoy." Then they're asked to write a "Dear Reader" letter: "Without giving too much of the plot away, let kids know why you enjoy the book. Ask a few open-ended questions about readers’ reactions to the characters or author or story, or other subjects related to the book." The letter/review is then posted, and students can go to this site, read it, read the book, and then, if they like, write to the author of the review with their own comments about the book. At that point, the adult writes back. Some adult penpals only respond once, and others keep up the correspondence for a few months. It is all done via the site administrators, and no E-mail addresses are revealed. Some of the books that are listed on the site include the following: · Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret · Catwings · The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time · The Diary of Anne Frank · Fast Food Nation · The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death (what a great title! Also, according to the review, it's funny enough to make the adult laugh out loud in the subway. Never mind the students, I'm going to check this one out) Via Rebecca's Pocket.

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