I get a lot of email every day. Mostly from kids, a lot of it like the email from a young person who recently wanted me to list "all the similes and metaphors" in one of my books.
But at the same time, I receive a lot of thought-provoking, sometimes very moving, email from readers of all ages. Today's mail brought a letter from a grandmother in Texas who feels THE GIVER is too disturbing a book for her grandson and who was distressed because it was required reading in his class. She was not in favor of censorship, I might add...just the fact that it was required of a boy who she felt was not ready for it.
In the same batch of mail was a letter from a 19-year-old who told me what a profound difference THE GIVER had made in his life. He wrote, speaking of a time in his own childhood:
I was given
your book and for the first time in my life I was intrigued by what I had
before my eyes. I won’t go into the subtleties of what you’ve written, as
you know it far better than I could hope to describe. But the importance
lies in how effectively my imagination was captured, not just by the words
you wrote, but the ideas and thoughts you spun. I was happy, I was angry, I
was saddened, but most of all I was scared. You thoroughly and
single-handedly demonstrated the power of thinking, and the ideas which
control the movement of a society through time. Maybe I didn’t fully
understand it at the time, but after your book I consumed every other with
the same ferociousness.
I wasn’t just after stories, I was after ideas, and the thoughts that