I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda (2015)

This book is a Rebecca Caudill nominee for 2018. The two teens in this true story make really compelling reading. Caitlin in Hatfield and Martin in Mutare begin a pen pal correspondence in 1997. The two of them connect in fits and starts but grow slowly into best friends and finally into brother & sister. Liz Welch, who crafted the story, adroitly sidesteps the “white savior” trap and concentrates instead on the joyous reciprocity of the main characters. Could be read as a primer on gratitude, or an introduction to World Studies, or a manual on how to be a friend, but it succeeds simply as a true story well told.

The New York Times says about the book, “It is quite a little miracle of unexpected genuineness.





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