I received this note from a mother the other day:
My son, Joey, completed his reading project that I mentioned in an earlier e-mail. He had to read three books from one author, provide summaries to the class, create a poster, and be the author for a class presentation. This is a picture of him after the big event. He read Bystander, The Fall
and Before you Go. His classmates were very interested in the subject material. They asked many questions after the presentation.
In any case, thought you might like to see the picture. We were going to put facial hair on but the teacher did not allow make up.
Joey is looking forward to your new book, The Courage Test.
I keep imagining this dear, kind mother sitting at the kitchen table shaking her head, “Why, Joey? Why?”
There are, of course, copious tears.
There’s even a Youtube video of Joey, as James Preller, giving a brief presentation. It was a strange sensation for me, as if staring into a mirror and seeing a much improved version of my actual self. I liked that Joey wore the Mets hat, and it’s fairly remarkable that he came up with an Oneonta sweatshirt. It is too bad about the rule against facial hair. That would have nailed it.
Thank you, Joey. I’m grateful and a little shocked that you would pick me out of all the possibilities. Though I suppose I was a better choice for you than, say, Beverly Cleary. I just don’t see you in those glasses.