Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Best Letter Ever!

A few days ago when I pulled the mail out of the box I was surprised to see that mixed in with the bills and advertisements was a real letter. What I mean by a real letter is the old-fashioned kind, with a stamp and handwritten address on the front. Part of the surprise was looking at it and thinking, with a fair amount of nostalgia, that it had been ages since I last received a letter in the mail. The other part of the surprise was looking at the return address and realizing I didn't have a clue who it was from.

I opened the stuffed envelope the minute I got back to the cottage, totally unprepared for what spilled out. I'm going to step aside now and let the contents tell the rest of the story. (For privacy reasons I have hidden names and addresses, but other than that will keep the letters in their original forms.)


Dear Kristie,

Wow! What a great book! My sister-in-law recommended Ting Ting to read to my grade 3 class. My students and I absolutely loved the story.

Thankfully I read the book on my own first so that I didn't cry too much while I read it aloud to them. My class is in an inner city Toronto neighbourhood. There are only a few families in our school who have immigrated from China but 95% of our population has immigrated in the past generation or two from other countries. So, needless to say my students connected greatly to Ting.

My favourite part of reading the book aloud to the kids was that when we'd finish a chapter they'd pipe up, "No, keep reading!"

A couple of students have written you notes. They are not hugely detailed. Unfortunately they can be hesitant writers at times but they all really enjoyed reading Ting Ting.

Thanks again for an amazing book. Please keep writing.

D.H.



Dear Kristie Hammond,

I really enjoyed your book called Ting Ting. My favourite part was when Ting loved donuts like me. I have some questions for you. Can you make a book with my name in the story? Can I be the main character in the story? Please! Let me know when you're done! Thanks a lot if you let me in your new book. My name is D. 

From, D.




Dear Kristie,

I think the Book Ting ting is amazing Book.
I love that Book.
Do you mind coming to our school S?
I think my class will love that.
thank you again for writing that Amazing Book for the wrold.
Make another Book.
I am so exsited to read it.

Sincerely,
C.


Dear Kristie,

I really like your book Ting Ting. It showed how she felt in Vancouver, Canada. Will you write a book continued from the previous one? Is Ting Ting real? Next time, will you write another book? Anyways you're an amazing author. Also keep trying your best to write cool books. 

From, S.
Signature, S.


Dear Kristie Hammond,

What is the next title of your book? Now we're reading Anne of Green Gables.
We're on Chapter 6.
We just finished reading Ting Ting.
My favourite part of the story is when Ting Ting begged her mom to go and watch the show Anne of Green Gables but she said we don't have money. 
That was my favourite part of the story.
I thought it was funny.

From H.

They were the most heartwarming, endearing letters I have ever received, and I have to admit I shed a few tears. The idea that my book touched the hearts of a class of children, many of them immigrants just like Ting, makes me one very happy author.

42 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Kristie. I knew it would have this impact - well done.

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  2. Congratulations. This is a joy to be savoured.

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  3. WOW!!!!!!!!!!! How utterly wonderful. What an amazing thing that they all loved it so much and that they wrote to you as well! That is truly a great experience for the children and so lovely for you too! Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx

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  4. Fan mail!

    "Also keep trying your best to write cool books."

    ...Is that enough to dispell any doubt or reservations about continuing writing?

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  5. Kristie, I have tears! How wonderful. I'm so happy for you. I'm currently reading your book and I'll be having my son read it this summer. It really is a good book and it's clearly becoming very popular. :)

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  6. Wow, so touching! I loved the letter from the student who wants to be a character in your next book. :)

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  7. I have lump in throat too, Kristie. What a thrill for you to receive these absolutely charming letters from children, who always tell it how they see it! Love the child who wants to be in the next story - are you tempted? I would be.. Now you must be thinking of writing a sequel? Great post!!!

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  8. I can't even imagine how full your heart was after reading those letters...so awesome to know how children are feeling after reading your book...Congratulations!

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  9. what an honor has been bestowed upon you, you AUTHOR you!!
    Isn't that fantastic. Children getting excited about reading is really exciting.

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  10. That is so wonderful! I don't know what to say. That almost me we happens. Congratulations!

    PS - I knew your writing was cool.

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  11. Weirdest autocorrection I've ever had. "me me" was supposed be "never"!!!

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  12. That is so beautiful Krisitie! I can't imagine a better endorsement for one's work than happy children....Mel x

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  13. What a lovely collection of letters! How neat!

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  14. How great that you caught the children's attention with your book. It will be one they remember all their life. It sounds like they have a very good teacher as well.

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  15. We all knew it would be a huge success Kristie. How wonderful to receive those lovely letters from the children. In fact as you say how lovely to receive a letter per se. Have a great weekend.
    Patricia x

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  16. I'm not surprised that you shed a few tears, that is such a wonderful thing to receive.

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  17. What a lovely thing to receive. You never know when you're writing how your work will touch the hearts of others do you? So this must indeed be very special. Well done you x

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  18. fantastic Kristie, well done! Heather x

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  19. Dear Kristie
    How wonderful, I am so glad you shared. I had goosebumps while reading those gloriously heartfelt letters. It gave me a thought, when you are an author you can touch so many lives and that can go on for generations (and most of the time you will never know). See what you put out in the world! Well done you, I hope you are writing your next book alreadt.
    Dawn

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  20. Oh how wonderful and touching, Kristie. Your pleasure radiates from this post and I can completely understand why. For your book to have inspired children enough to write to you is fantastic. Well done and keep writing. :-)

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  21. What a wonderful impact your book is making to everyone who reads it.....you really do need a facebook page :)

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  22. What an amazing compliment for you and your book, well done. Surely you are now inspired to write another

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  23. We are so excited to see all the responses about our letters. We are glad that you wrote that for us. We liked what you said. Thanks. We can't wait to see your next book. P.S. Can you please come to our school? The Grade 3 Letter Writers.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Grade 3s,

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog! As you can see, everyone loved the letters you sent to me. I really enjoyed reading them too, and was so happy to know you liked Ting Ting. I would love to come to your school, but unfortunately I live a very long way from Toronto.

      Your friend,
      Kristie Hammond

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  24. That is pretty amazing! To know that you've touched so many people, enjoy the feeling! Congrats!

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  25. Oh,my goodness. I started to tear-up as I read this post! How very cool. It's amazing to receive that kind of feedback from your audience!

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  26. It is special when children connect with a book and an author. When I worked as a teacher-librarian, author visits were my favourite events.

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  27. Okay, so my eyes are welling up too! They are all, of course, right! You are a brilliant writer, and you have the kind of storytelling gift that can't be taught or learned but just is x

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  28. What can I say but to echo all the commenters above. Well done! What a delight for you to know how you have touched your audience. -- Ruth

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  29. Oh my goodness, such a Lovely surprise in the mail. You have to go and visit this class and of course write another book.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  30. What a wqonderful surprise for you...and so well deserved.

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  31. How wonderful that your book has touched a class of children in this way, enough for them to write such enthusiastic letters to you. I think you'd better get on with a follow up.

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  32. Your excitement is palpable! Mainly because I know how I would feel if I were to get such a fan letter about something I've written! :-) You must start a Memory Box for Lucy, and the first thing you should put in it is a copy of your book along with these letters. She'll treasure having this very special thing about her grandmama. As for visiting the Grade 3 classroom, have you considered Skype?

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  33. Reading these gave me shivers - how wonderful and special that they wrote to you, and obviously greatly enjoyed the story.

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  34. Hi Kristie,
    Notes like these from students are so heartwarming to see. I'm with you in that I love getting real mail and sending it too :) I've so enjoyed reading your blog and I wanted to recognize it so I'm passing along a Liebster Award that I was given. I know you probably have way more than the 200 followers, but I have really enjoyed your work :) Participating is totally voluntary and thanks for posting such wonderful content :) ~Jenna

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  35. What wonderful recommendations, the best kind. Well done you, you must have made a huge impact on that class and how kind of the teacher to pass the notes on.
    Will you visit them and will D feature in another book?

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  36. Oh, there were a few tears in the even for me. How sweet. I think you better make an author visit!

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  37. Oh man, is there anything more rewarding than this?! Also, that teacher deserves a serious virtual high five for being so thoughtful and sending you those.

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  38. How exciting, what a wonderful response from the class. Being fairly new to your blog I didn't know you had written a book. I am anxious to hear more about your writing.

    Darla

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  39. How kind of the teacher to send you their notes! I can imagine how great it felt to read those and know that you connected with the kids through your writing. Thanks for sharing this with us. ~Kim

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  40. Just now catching up on a month's worth of blog reading and so thrilled to see what is clearly an answer for a sometimes "insecure writer"! :D What a wonderful thing for this teacher to do for a wonderful writer!

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