Courage and the Ability to Dream

Dear Phyllis Reynolds Naylor,

I am just taking the opportunity to write and tell you how much the Alice books mean to me.  Since I picked up a copy of The Agony of Alice in the sixth grade, I have been unable to put these books down.  It is easy to find oneself walking with Alice through school as a roving reporter for the Edge, working with her on the Seascape, or going for a walk to the playground.  I used to read to get lost in the books because my life was so chaotic.  My parents separated when I was 14, and when I was sixteen I moved away from both of them.  I tried to escape the drama and heartache that came with being part of my family.

Now, for the first time I am able to read….just to read.  At 23 years old, I have already been divorced and played the role of single mom.  I was General Manager of a restaurant, and worked full-time, and went to school full-time, while taking care of my daughter by myself.  I didn’t get to pick up a book for 2 and a half years, unless it was a school book.  I am going to get married for the second, and last, time in April.  The man I am with now works so that I can stay home with my daughter, and he encourages me to do whatever makes me happy.  He bought me You and Me and the Space In Between.  In two and a half weeks, I read from Alice Alone to Alice on Board, and I felt like me again.

Now my rant is over, but I really just wanted to say thanks.  You have a very important job.  You give young girls courage and the ability to dream, especially those who come from broken homes.  But it is not just young girls who look up to you; it is young ladies as well.  My books are going to stay on my bookshelf.  Soon the time will come for me to read them again, and I look forward to sharing them with my daughter.  But even sooner than that, I will have the opportunity to read Now I’ll Tell You Everything.
Phyllis replied:
How you found time to even write to me, I don’t know, but your email means a lot.  I hope you enjoy every single page of Now I’ll Tell You Everything, because you have already experienced so much yourself.  Congratulations and best wishes!

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