What did I see over at Kirby Larson's blog?
A Dear America relaunch, with Larson as one of the first authors! The Publishers Weekly article about the relaunch provides more information: "The Fences Between Us by Kirby Larson, author of Newbery Honor book Hattie Big Sky; a 50,000-copy first printing is on order for this new title centering on a 13-year-old living in 1941 Seattle on the eve of the U.S.'s entrance into WWII. Also due in September are two reissues: Newbery Honor author Kathryn Lasky's A Journey to the New World, one of the original Dear America launch titles; and The Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana Gregory. A third reissue, Ellen Emerson White's Voyage on the Great Titanic, will follow in November."
That will be the Plimoth book, the Jamestown book, and Ellen Emerson White! Sweet! Maybe they will also do her brother/sister Vietnam books!
I know when these came out, some adults were bothered that kids would think they were real autobiographies, and a handful of kids felt betrayed that they weren't. I say, eye roll. I grew up with the heavily fictionalized, shelved in biography Childhood of Famous American series and guess what? Give kids credit; and the kids who did feel betrayed, well, those are the same kids who also got upset that Santa/The Tooth Fairy/etc. were made up.
I love the Dear America books, the use of resources at the back of the books, the "what happened" at the end that could be devastating in its historical accuracy. I haven't yet recovered from So Far From Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847.
My only quibble.
Did you know there was also a Dear Canada imprint? And a United Kingdom/ Great Britain My Story imprint, and while I couldn't find these on the Scholastic US website, some are available in the US: The Hunger: An Irish Girl's Diary, 1845-1847 (My Story).
You know, we Americans (including children) are not so "USA" centric as people think. No, really. Books telling the story of Canada's history? The history of England? Would be read. No, really.
So please, Scholastic -- as you reissue and bring out new Dear America books?
Think bigger. Think beyond our borders. Include stories about the history of other countries -- and perspectives on historical events that are not American.
Think Dear World.
EDITED TO ADD:
So sorry for forgetting My Australian Story! Thanks to Judith Ridge at Misrule for letting me know.
Then I did what I should have earlier, and checked out Wikipedia for the other "Dear..." books. New Zealand! India! I want them all now.
Please, Scholastic -- DEAR WORLD!!
EDITED TO ADD:
In addition to the comments -- Compulsive Reader also says, "go Dear World!"
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
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