Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Max

Title : Dear Max

Author : Sally Grindley

Publisher : Aladin Paperbacks

'Pen is the tongue of mind' - I cannot agree more. I am one of the many strong admirers of letter writing. Its charm and charisma can never be replaced by the whole array of modern means of faster and quicker communication. Letter writing is truly an art. It is the most personal gift that we give to our loved ones.

'Dear Max' is a story narrated through a series of letters, postcards and cards that are exchanged between a nine-year old boy Max and his favourite author - D.J.Lucas. After having read one of his books, Max decides to place the first stone of the foundation of a friendly relationship between an author and a young reader.

"Dear D.J.Lucas,

My uncle bought me one of your books for Christmas. Its called Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Boys? Have you written any other books? I want to be a writer when I grow up.

Love from Max,

Age 9"

D.J. lovingly replies back to her new pen-pal and thus commences the wonderful journey of sharing their lives with each other through the letters. Max writes about his challenges in life, the bullies he has to face in school, his life after his father left them, his struggle in forming a story and his medical issues. D.J. shares the events and happenings from her life, her progress in story writing and about her other engagements.

Max makes sure to add his creative drawings in all his letters and this is one of the reasons he likes writing letters than any other ways of communicating with his favourite author. For the readers, these drawings simply raise the fun factor of the book.

Dear Max showcases a beautiful relationship in which it feels so easy and right to share many inner feelings and emotions with ones who do not judge, who have similar vulnerabilities, despite them being complete strangers initially. While reading this book, I could actually peep inside the mind of Max and feel his jubilation on having another confidant in his life besides his mother, another person who he happily includes in his inner circle. I like the way Max tries to incorporate the ideas or suggestions given by the author for his writing, behaviour and life in general. Throughout all the author's letters to Max, she does not sermonize or preach anything to Max, she just offers another perspective and different angle of viewing things which work wonders for Max and I am sure it will appeal to all young readers.


anushka said...

I will surely bookmark this. Great blog

sathish said...

very interesting vibha.

And how I wish I get a nice hand written letter nowadays.

Reminds me of my own penpals during my school time. I have lost touch with all of them now.

Vibha said...

Anushka ~ Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment here.

Sathish ~ Thanks. I make it a point to give a hand-written note to R and M on their birthdays.

ranjani.sathish said...

What a fantastic topic for a book and I loved your review Vibha ! It is so true when you mention that a personal heartfelt letter is the best gift that you can give to your loved one !

As I know, from our earlier exchanges how important letter writing is to you, it makes it very apt for you to have picked such a book.

Meera Sriram said...

Very creative. And I like that the authors letters are not preachy. We having something similar (or so I think) waiting to be read at home, called Dear Peter Rabbit by Alma Flor Ada, letters to the three pigs, and goldilocks and such:)

sandhya said...

We read this book recently, and loved it. A finished reading it in one sitting, and was very unhappy when I suggested mid-way that she do some homework before she continues.
We, too loved the idea of writing actual pen-and-paper letters. That was one of the motivating factors when I participated in the two "by-post" activities hosted by Zoe at playingbythebook.

There is a similar book- "Dear Mr Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary that you might enjoy reading.

Choxbox said...

Lovely book - agree!

And echo the reco of Dear Mr.Henshaw.

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