Basement Editorial | Children’s Book Project with 4th Graders, Part 2


Me (left) and Chris (right).

I introduced this project last week, but basically, when I was a senior in high school, my AP Lit class partnered with a group of 4th graders to create a children’s book. Along the way, we also did some pen pal style things. Here’s where you get to see some of the actual parts of the program.

First is a letter that must have been a response to an earlier one that I wrote him. We’ll just have to make an educated guess as to what I said to him in that missing letter.

February 16, 2000

Dear Josh,

You’re wrong about Amanda being a little immature. She’s totally immature. She is really weak. I could beat her with one hand. She e-mails Jason about 18 times every day.

My favorite colors are blue, silver, and black. My mom likes read like you do. Her car is red.

I haven’t broken any bones. Does it really hurt to break bones?

I learned to water ski last summer. I didn’t like it very much by my mom and dad would not let me go home until I skied all around the lake one time. They think I am going to do it again this summer. Actually, I like to water ski now.

I can totally waste you at N64. Totally! I’m going to whip Jason in just a minute. He and Amanda just came in from ice fishing so I have to let his hands warm up first. You better not tell him I told you all this stuff.


To explain the bit about Jason, he was a friend of mine, also a senior, who was spending an unusual amount of time with Chris’ sister, Amanda. In fact, it was a bit scandalous, as Amanda was a freshman and Jason was a senior, and in high school, such liaisons are viewed with the gimlet eye. As it happens, if my wife and I had been together in high school, she would have been a freshman when I was a senior. Since then, Amanda and Jason have gotten married, but not to each other. So it goes.

I don’t have any more letters to or from Chris, but I do have the paper that I wrote up for my class about Chris’ letter to me, so come back tomorrow for that.

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