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Book Review: I Will Always Write Back by: Brooke B.

I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda is a heartwarming non-fiction story about a girl from Pennsylvania and a boy from Zimbabwe who become best friends over pen-pal letters. This magnificent book includes beautiful writing switching from Caitlin’s perspective to Martin's perspective each chapter. The authors also incorporate some letters Caitlin and Martin sent each other, as well as some pictures from their experience.

I had a great time reading this book. It made me happy, anxious, and overjoyed all at once. I was so engrossed, I finished it in two days. This book can be for all ages--I actually got my copy as a birthday present from a 16-year-old! I must admit that I was very surprised by how good this book was. Of course, ways of living are very different here in the United States than they are in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, and the book starts out in 1997. Zimbabwe was still a fairly new country back then, and this book portrays the struggles the country was having. This really made me realize how hard it is to live in other places in the world--the struggles with money, finding and keeping a job, and providing for your family.

This book spans from 1997, when Caitlin and Martin were in 7th grade, to 2015, when Caitlin and Martin were young adults. This book expresses Caitlin’s character development throughout the book, how she went from a careless teen to a woman who loves to spread kindness. The letters between Martin and her contribute to her growth as a person. The best aspect of this book is that Martin and Caitlin grew up together even though they were physically apart. They matured through letters! Paper, words, a stamp, and maybe some extra decorations go a long way!

After I read this book, I desperately wanted a pen-pal. This was such a fun, emotional, meaningful read! I love how it changed my perspective on life in a good way. I’m so thankful that Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda shared their story with me, and many others. I Will Always Write Back reveals Caitlin and Martin’s life-altering experience. If it can change my life, then it can change yours! Make sure you read this book because I promise you that you will feel the same way I felt!

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