Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear Author: Letters of Hope by Joan Kaywell

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Philomel
ISBN: 0399237054 (ISBN13: 9780399237058)
original title: Dear Author: Letters of Hope (Top Young Adult Authors Respond to Kids' Toughest Issues)
2 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
To millions of kids, the books they read are more than entertainment— they are mirrors to hold up to their own lives. And the creators of those books are more than just writers—they are mentors, confidants, friends, sometimes the only ones who understand. There is often an unspoken, unseen bond between an author and his or her readers.

Dear Author brings this bond to light for the whole world to see and to celebrate. Laurie Halse Anderson, Chris Crutcher, Jerry Spinelli, Christopher Paul Curtis, and many more of today's bestselling YA authors respond to this intimate mix of heartbreaking and heartwarming letters, giving a glimpse into the hearts and souls of kids today, and the writers who have changed their lives. It's nothing short of inspirational.

My Thoughts:
I got about 1/3 of the way through this book and decided to put it down. It was interesting enough for the part that I read, but I just got bored with it after a while. So my take is that it's a great idea, but in a more limited scope, and perhaps picking reader letters that are real standouts. A lot of these letters just seemed like run of the mill teenage musings. The other thing that bogged me down was the occasional author preachiness, which was somewhat off-putting. Again, a great idea if done exceptionally well, and that is not how I would characterize this effort.

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