* “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
“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
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.
The New York Times bestselling true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe — and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter. There were only ten letters, and fifty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.That letter was 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 long-distance exchange. Their story will inspire you to look beyond your own life and wonder about the world at large and your place in it.