Monday, July 18, 2016

...that time my heart got big

Book praise always makes my innards happy, but every now and then I get some feedback that makes my heart do that Grinchy thing. You know, growing bigger than its original size. Take a look at this email:

The Grinch photo: Grinch Heart Grow grinch_growing_heart.gif 

"Dear Mrs. Crandell, 

I met you recently at a Barnes and Noble B fest event and you signed me a copy of Summer on the Short Bus for me, which I greatly appreciate. I told you about how I have attended a camp for special needs children with chronic diseases, most of us at the camp having juvenile arthritis. Cricket's attitude towards the campers at Camp I Can are very similar to what I experienced from campers who were not a part of the **Withholding camp name for privacy** Her attitude is also similar to what I have experienced in other public spaces, such as school and theme parks like Sea World. For my first two years of high school I was forced to walk with a cane, which for obvious reasons earned me some harsh comments about either being an exaggerator, a wimp, or that I am contagious and should be avoided at all costs. During one of my classes freshman year, one student took my cane and shortened it without me knowing so that when I tried to stand up to walk I fell. 

In today's society it is way too common to ignore ignorance about differently-abled people, which creates people who are either cold towards disabilities, or way too sympathetic and fake. In literature and movies, conditions like at Camp I Can or **camp name** are touched upon lightly to prevent anyone from being offended. Summer on the Short Bus was so incredibly refreshing because it showed that in real life people are quick to judge, and often stick to those judgments when they are exposed to a situation that they do not understand. So thank you very much for creating such a real character, because even though we don't always like to admit it I think we all have some Cricket in us, but I think we can balance it with our inner Efrons. 

Thank you again for taking the time to read this."

As someone who is rarely at a loss for words, this one left me a little dumbstruck. All I can think to say is, WOW, and THANK YOU! 

If you've been affected by an author's work, do them a solid and tell them. There's nothing quite as fulfilling as hearing how your story impacted someone's life.