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I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives (Paperback)
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The New York Times bestselling true story of an all-American girl, a boy from Zimbabwe, and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.
It started as an assignment. Caitlin had never even heard of Zimbabwe when everyone in her class was told to write a letter to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. Excited for the first time about homework, she went home that night and wrote about her favorite color and what sports she played, and asked her mystery pen-pal about life in Zimbabwe.
Martin had never heard of Pennsylvania when he read Caitlin’s letter. He was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter—his class only received ten letters for fifty kids! But as the top student, he got the first one. He wrote Caitlin back, talking about his siblings and soccer and saying he hoped she wrote again.
These letters were the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives. In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends—and better people—through their inspiring long-distance exchange.
About the Author
Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda met as pen pals in 1997 and are still best friends today. Caitlin, an ER nurse, lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and young daughters. Martin currently lives in New York. He has dual degrees in mathematics and economics from Villanova University and an MBA in finance from Duke University.
Liz Welch is an award-winning journalist and memoirist whose critically acclaimed first book, The Kids Are All Right co-authored with her sister Diana Welch, won an ALA Alex Award. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times, Parade, Life, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Glamour, Real Simple, Self, Marie Claire, and other publications.
Praise for I Will Always Write Back:An Indiebound Bestseller
An Amazon Big Spring Book Selection 2015
* "Sensitively and candidly demonstrating how small actions can result in enormous change, this memoir of two families' transformation through the commitment and affection of long-distance friends will humble and inspire."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The remarkable tenacity of these two souls pulled like magnets across the world by their opposite polarities - one committed to helping, the other to surviving - is deeply affecting...It's quite a little miracle of unexpected genuineness."—New York Times Book Review
"A well-written, accessible story that will open Western adolescents' eyes to life in developing countries. Told in the first person, with chapters alternating between Caitlin's and Martin's points of view, this title effectively conveys both of these young people's perspectives...a strong and inspiring story...and an eye-opening look at life in another culture."—SLJ
"An inspirational story...eye-opening."—The Bulletin
"This heart-warming memoir will inspire readers to open their eyes to other cultures and realize that even the smallest of gestures can be important."—School Library Connection
"This compelling story of an unlikely friendship across continents will quiet your inner skeptic and inspire you to take a chance. Moving and uplifting."
—Award-winning author and journalist Peter Godwin
"Caitlin and Martin seemed to have nothing in common--except a curiosity about the world outside their own and a willingness to reach out to each other. With a lot of postage and a lot more hope, these two pen pals changed each other's lives and the lives of everyone who knew them. An inspiring story that will change your life, too."—Patricia McCormick, author of the National Book Award finalist Sold