This week I am reading A Pen Pal for Max by Gloria Rand to the upper grades. They are so engrossed in the idea that a young boy could gain a pen pal from another country! As Gloria has entrusted me with all the correspondence and drafts from the book, they love listening to the ways the text changed in the various revisions. When I finished with one class today, we talked about how children do not have pen pals as often as when I was young. One enthusiastic girl expounded the benefits of pen pals for her classmates, saying how much better it was to get mail than email. You can even get pictures drawn by the other person, she told us! Letter writing might carry over to the summer months for these readers.