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I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives
I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives | Martin Ganda, Caitlin Alifirenka
The 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.
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JenDR
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We started the next book at my job‘s accidental book club. This time me and a co-worker both bought the same book on the same day by coincidence.

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Laura317
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Pickpick

I loved this book of two international pen pals that forged a friendship so strong that they became like family. Important to note: don‘t ever look down on someone who has less than you or comes from deep poverty. Everyone deserves a chance to become the best they can.

LauraBrook I‘m so glad you liked this one! I‘ve got it, unread, on my shelves here somewhere. Hmmm... 1mo
33 likes1 comment
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throwmeabook
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I have been a horrible penpal and I apologize to my #poutinepenpals and #litsylove groups for being such a slacker 😔 So my goal for this week is to FINALLY make a dent in the pile of wonderful cards, letters and postcards I have received over the last many months. I‘m determined that not even slicing my pinkie finger over the weekend making cabbage salad is going to stop me. LET‘S DO THIS!!! 💌

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks You can do it!!! ✍️❤️😘 1mo
UwannaPublishme Ouch! You‘re quite a trooper! 🤗❤️✍🏻💪🏻 1mo
28 likes3 comments
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Laura317
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I started this last night. I wish we‘d done pen pals from other countries in school!

33 likes2 stack adds
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dariazeoli
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To everyone I owe a letter, please know I‘m truly sorry I haven‘t responded yet. I feel like the summer got away from me as I‘ve been trying to work on my health and prepping for busy season at work.

Thank you for your kindness and for the community we build here. ❤️

Purrfectpages All I can say is, same. 4mo
dariazeoli @Purrfectpages Must be a Jersey thing 😉 4mo
44 likes3 comments
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Lova
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Pickpick

This was such a great book. It took a chapter or two to adjust to Catelyn‘s voice but it was well worth it! Makes me miss having pen pals and handwriting letters myself.

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Kaylamburson
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Pickpick

This audiobook is so sweet & shows the true meaning of selflessness. Caitlin & Martin are 7th grade penpals & share their lives over almost a decade of letters. Caitlin learns what true poverty & gratitude looks like and Martin finds a real friend. This is a perfect young YA, & will give readers a glimpse into the difficulties that plague those in 3rd world countries. We're often aware of the situation, but this story humanizes the issues.

69 likes1 stack add
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j.rye
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Pickpick

This type of story usually isn‘t my style, but this book was so amazing. It was heart wrenching and heart warming. It had me laughing and crying. Solid 5/5. The narration even makes me like audiobooks a little more.

32 likes2 stack adds
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j.rye
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Dogs, yarn, and audio books. 😍

JohannaRose Sounds perfect! 7mo
DGRachel What a beautiful pup! 7mo
37 likes2 comments
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j.rye
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Trying something new for me... hopefully it keeps me entertained while knitting something for my #summersantagoespostal swap partner. 🧶😍

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quanners
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Pickpick

This book motivates on so many levels and I really enjoyed listening to it on audio book. I‘ve told my oldest nephew about it. Like Caitlin he is a privileged American youth who takes eduction for granted. Even though I was an honor student throughout high school I too took education for granted and here is this boy Martin who knew that eduction was the only ticket for his family to have a better life. I‘m also motivated to be a better pen pal!

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trueisa4letterword
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Pickpick

I've been reading a lot more since my laptop won't boot up anymore, but I inhaled this book. The beginning made me want to me want to bail because Caitlin was such a yawnfest. Then I read about Martin. Wholesome and touching.

#ya #nonfiction #LitsyAtoZ #I

3 likes1 stack add
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AmyG
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My beautiful #JB mail from @amb @Kaye @CareBear and @Smarkies (this beautiful card all the way from Malaysia). Thank you all so much. Hilly couldn‘t care less.

Kaye 🌷 1y
ephemeralwaltz 😍😍 1y
Leftcoastzen Hilly is looking for a treat. 1y
See All 10 Comments
AmyG @Leftcoastzen Always! 1y
AmyG And Thank You for your cards, too! I should have waited one more day before I posted. @Betty @RebelReader @LovesBooks87 1y
Lovesbooks87 💜💜💜💜 1y
RebelReader #JB mail two days in a row! What could be better? ❤️❤️ 1y
AmyG @RebelReader Ha...right? 😘 1y
CareBear Hilly! 😻 1y
Betty 📬❤️💖 1y
97 likes10 comments
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WriterAtHeart
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Pickpick

I am not usually a nonfiction reader, but I absolutely loved this tale of pen pals that turned into family. I commend both Caitlin's family for their large hearts and to Martin's family for their support towards his dreams. I was captivated by their story and read their tale within a few hours. I also enjoyed watching them develop as both their individual selves and their views on the world.

StephanieGeiser This would be perfect for #jb right, @Kaye ?? 1y
Kaye Sounds very good @StephanieGeiser 👍🏼 1y
tracey38 Perfect #jb book! 1y
HufflepuffGirl90 That sounds great!! And makes me want to have a pen pal now lol. Definitely going to my TBR 1y
61 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Lyanneee
Pickpick

10/10

Such a heartwarming read! Really goes to show that friendship knows no boundaries ❤️ Great read if you're looking for something positive today ☺️

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TheLudicReader
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Pickpick

I had a lot of pen pals growing up, so this book really appealed to me. When Caitlin, a 13-year-old from Pennsylvania is paired up with 13-year-old Martin from Zimbabwe, neither of them realizes how their correspondence will change the other‘s life. This book is so hopeful and eye-opening and there may have been tears. Super quick read because I couldn‘t put it down.

Ingerella This sounds like such a nice read! 2y
TheLudicReader It is totally worth the read, @Ingerella . 2y
RaimeyGallant Sounds like a good read. 2y
21 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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alysonwrites
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Pickpick

This is a love letter to letter writing, to the power of friendship, and most of all to love that is greater than any geographical distance, cultural differences, or political division. A true story of two people who became best friends through letter writing and just happened to live on different continents in vastly different circumstances. All they wanted was to be there for each other. Their unwavering friendship is so uplifting. 🌍💌

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alysonwrites
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After a really crazy week of work and life blowing up all at once, I‘ve decided to take a weekend staycation and that means getting away from my usual routine, including reading. This book was not on my TBR, but it looks like a really intriguing true story so I‘m doing a weekend binge read. Here I go!

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PrezBookster
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I had a pen pal many years ago, and I was one of those people that it didn‘t last more than one letter... this is sooo cool! However, I would have fully thought it was a scam when he kept asking for money... Life has warped my brain to second guess all things..

LibrarianJen I was the same way with pen pals when I was younger. Now though #LitsyPenPals has gotten me into it again and I love it! 2y
LauraBrook I‘ve got this one on my shelves, and I‘ve picked it up twice to look at it again. Think I‘ll read it soon! 2y
62 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Catmomsara
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Pickpick

I don‘t normally like nonfiction, but this book was so well written I couldn‘t put it down! This story of friendship and kindness is told in a narrative format that is compelling and intriguing. The kindness these two people show is incredible and the story will make you think more about what you can do to help others.
I actually had the privilege of meeting the two wonderful authors and their kindness is inspiring.
#yalit #nonfiction #kindness

5 likes1 stack add
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Librarylady
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I'm keeping stats at the junior high basketball game tonight but I've brought my book just in case I have a free minute or two.

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MsFemal
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Pickpick

So far, my favorite read in 2017. Published in 2015 about a pen pal friendship started in 1997. Martin is in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and Caitlin is in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, USA. Very different lives, same kind hearts. Appreciate the life you have, make life better for those around you. Thankful that I got to read about the incredible friendship Martin & Caitlin share.

Peddler410 Loved this in 2015; still love it today 😊 2y
4 likes1 comment
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Bookishgal71
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Pickpick

An excellent and engaging read! Perfect for middle school students and higher. Makes me want to go out and get a pen pal! Makes me want to go to Zimbabwe and roll up my sleeves and help. Makes me want to hire a better editor for these two young authors - seriously, there were so many typos that I wanted to scream. A shining, positive example of one person helping another and the snowball effect it created.

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Tigerbook
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Pickpick

My cat Splash loves this book and is thinking about what he just read😛

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Bookishgal71
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Pickpick

Loving this book so far! Makes it even more awesome that we are having Litsy pen pals! #debsstack

DebinHawaii It sounds like a great book! Thanks for joining in my Litsyversary fun! 👍😀 2y
8 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Onlaughterandliteracy
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Yaaass!! I made it this round 🙌🏻🙌🏻 #litsypenpals

Alicia Yayyy!! 📫😁📚 2y
abbsinwonderland Yay! Its my first time 😷😫 2y
14 likes2 comments
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AM.Yates
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Pickpick

In the days since I finished this book, I've found myself recommending it to everyone I meet. Such a moving and inspiring story of perseverance, kindness, and friendship. When two young people from different sides of the globe begin writing to each other for a school project, they create a bond that transforms both their lives. If you're feeling down, this one will pick you up.

DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy!! 🎉📚👍😀Hope you enjoy it here! 2y
AM.Yates @DebinHawaii Thanks! 😊 2y
BookishMarginalia Welcome! 2y
AM.Yates @BookishMarginalia Thank you! I'm always excited to be where the books are! 2y
6 likes4 comments
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Bookishgal71
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SilversReviews ENJOY!! Love the photo and stack of books. 2y
3 likes1 comment
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26_reader_101

Makes me want to help!

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monalyisha
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Pickpick

In this epistolary memoir, Caitlin & Martin become pen pals & write to one another for 6 years, from America to Zimbabwe & back again. They grow up together, though they live on different continents. Caitlin fuels Martin's dreams for a better life, & Martin helps her understand poverty & need in a deep way.

Despite its length, this book reads FAST. It got overly religious at times, but ultimately, I happy-cried so much that my face feels funny.

14 likes1 stack add
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monalyisha
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"My father let out a deep sigh. It filled our small hut and escaped out the door, taking so much tension with it, as if he'd been holding his breath for weeks."

Art cred: Betsy McCall

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see.chels.read
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this was soooo cute!

6 likes1 stack add
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Peddler410
Pickpick

This was a fantastic book! The truly best part, true story! This will be a reread and I save those for only the best books!

22 likes1 stack add
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KerriArista
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Pickpick

Perfection. The sweetest story of friendship and the best part being: IT'S A TRUE STORY. This really should be made into a movie. It's one the world needs to hear right now. Love sweet love. I will put this in my top 5 of all time favorite books. LOVED IT.

4 likes1 stack add
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Dineen73
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Pickpick

Sometimes a book makes you cry - happy tears, hopeful tears, tears that make you remember how truly wonderful people in this world are. HOPEFUL - that is how I would describe this book. It also makes you remember the power of the written word, in this case the words and letters shared by two pen pals, a half a world away from each other. Read this book & make sure you have tissues!

11 likes2 stack adds
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Cookie.bites
Mehso-so

I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it. It wasn't one of my personal favorites but I would recommend reading this book. The story is beautiful and will change the way you look at the world. This is a book you should read.

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ipushbooks
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Pickpick

Inspiring memoir of an amazing friendship

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ipushbooks
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July 3rd and the high temperature was about 65 today. And it was rainy. Not sure why I bothered to get dressed, but I enjoying hanging out under a blanket with this book and a cup of hot tea.

4 likes1 stack add
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WonderWhitman
Pickpick

Great, accessible piece for young adults to understand the world more fully and have a bit more empathy.