The true story of an all-American girl and a boy from an impoverished city in 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. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of - so she chose it.
Martin was lucky even to receive a pen-pal letter. There were only 10 letters and 40 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 letters. Their story will inspire listeners to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it.
©2015 Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda (P)2015 Hachette Audio
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Such a heartwarming and beautiful story. A reminder that snall actions can go a long way.
"Got a pen pal?"
I love writing letters and this story is a continuation of the wonderful feelings that happen when pen meets paper.
Caitlin and Martin are joined through the post and share their lives with each other. Caitlin slowly learns that what she has taken for granted is a tremendous excess in Martin's life. Her dollar sent as an example of US currency will buy a soda at the mall, for Martin it fed his family for 2 weeks.
Their bond grows and grows as they teach each other about hard work, compassion and empathy. Each one of us knows we have a great friend when we are inspired to be better in our own lives.
This is a terrific book. I would recommend it to people who want to learn about the history and culture of Zimbabwe, but also to anyone else who likes a good book.
Got completely caught up in the story. It makes me want to 1. get a pen pal 2. write an actual letter and send it to someone 3. learn about a culture/country I know little about.
Our middle school book club is reading it. Students are loving it.
The voice for Caitlin, however, did not match the character for me. It did interefere some at first.
"What a treat!"
A beautiful, captivating and truly motivating story! Keep your eyes on the prize for sure.
"A reminder in the purity of friendship"
I couldn't stop listening. Even shed a tear or two. Must read for both young and old.
This was so unexpected. I was snotty and teary throughout this book. You just never know where one small act will take you.
"A story of love and determination"
This book started out with two young people corresponding across continents. Through letters cultures, lives and goals are depicted. One young man' determination to succeed in order to help his family inspires his pen pal and her family to help his dreams come true. A very inspiring book to be read by young and old alike.
"Penpals to friends"
This was a great listen. I loved hearing Caitlin's and Martin's points-of-view.
Caitlin sent Martin $1 just to trade and see what each other's currency looks like. I couldn't believe how far that $1 bill went for Martin and his family!
Martin as performed buy Chudwudi Iwuji was my favorite - partly because I enjoyed the story Martin had to tell. Emily Bauer's narration sounded a little bit too young to me, almost childish at the beginning. I didn't have as much of an issue with it as the story went on though. I don't know if it actually improved or if I just got used to it though.
I laughed at times, felt anxious when Caitlin and her mom were trying to get Martin into college (even though I already knew the outcome), and wanted everything to work out for these friends!
This is a book for young adults, which I beleive all young adults should read and adults. We take so many things for granted. Simple things- a bed to sleep in, blankets, stamps, paper. Martin makes you realize how lucky and privilege we are in he US to have so many things at our finger tips. Many of us take these simple things for granted I know I do. After reading this book you realize even with little things we can help so many people not as fortunate as ourselves.
That this is a true story! How many of us had foreign pen pals and only write a few times? I love the fact that Caitlin grows through their letters, realizes the world around her and not just in Pennyslvania. I also love how this not only changes Caitlin's life and Martin's but also Caitlin's family.
There was so many but hearing just the simplicity of how Martin's family got so thrilled with their clothing box filled with candy and shoes makes me smile.
This is a must read not only for young adults but for adults, it will make you think and move you!
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