Love, generosity, curiousness, anger, and empathy. It grabs your attention from the first sentence, and doesn’t let it go until after you have devoured the last sentence. This is the greatest book that is out there. It brings out so many emotions and talks about real world problems that our third world countries are facing such as poverty, lack of resources, and lack of education. It is, I Will Always Write Back.
This New York Times bestselling book follows the story of Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda, who became trans-continental friends from one, simple letter. Sometime in late September of 1997, Caitlin’s teacher Mrs. Miller gave her and her classmates an assignment: to choose any country that was posted up on the whiteboard, and then write a pen pal letter to the chosen student from that country.
There were the typical countries, Germany, Austria, France, all of the ones that were most likely to be chosen first. But, she was drawn to the African country of Zimbabwe, and decided upon that one for this English assignment. The students were only supposed to send a couple letters to the other person, and then they would move on to the next project. But, Caitlin and her pen pal Martin, kept sending letters to each other–even after the assignment was over–and ended up creating an unbreakable bond.
Martin Ganda, one of the main characters in this nonfiction book, lives with his mother, father, and brothers in Zimbabwe. They have little clothing, no shoes, barely any food, just enough money to pay for some of their children to attend school, and no money for medicinal necessities. This family is the epiphany of the poor.
During their letter conversations, Caitlin learns of his situation and begins to become curious and wants to help him out in any way that he can. Her and her mother begin to research ways that they can help, and strive to achieve those things in any ways that they can. From sending him things, and giving him words of support and encouragement, a thirteen year old, Pennsylvanian teenager learns that not all people live the fortunate life.
This small assignment during her seventh grade English class, soon turns into important life lessons, and an unbreakable bond between two people, who live halfway across the country. Whether you are looking for a book to read, a book to give to your child or friend, or just want to find and read something new, this is the one to grab.
Published on April 14th, 2015 by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda, and Liz Welch, this book follows the incredible story of two unlikely finding each other, and permanently affecting the other’s life.