Jordan recently read Circle of Fire by Evelyn Coleman. It's part of the American Girl History Mystery series. Yesterday she wrote the author. She's done this before with success and wanted to try it again to help with a school project she is to complete this week based upon the book. It was a little last minute so I didn't expect an answer so quickly. Here is the correspondance between Jordan and Evelyn Coleman:
Dear Ms. Coleman,
My name is Jordan Mxxxxxxxx. I go to Mxxxxxx Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia. I like to read a lot and I have just begun reading the American Girl History Mystery series. I have completed your book, Circle of Fire. I really liked it a lot. I have a project where I need to read a mystery and then do a creative project having to do with the mystery for my ALP Class. I choose Circle of Fire. It is due this Wednesday, March 22, 2006.
I was very interested in the book’s subject and was wondering how Mendy felt after she found out that Jeffery’s Dad was a member of the Klan. I just keep wondering what she might have felt when she found out how many people in town were in the Klan. I feel mad that the Klan thought that Jesus died just for them.
Thank you for your time. I’m glad you are helping me with my project,
And here is the author's reply which came only a few short hours after Jordan's letter (you've got to love email):
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful note. I'm certainly happy to know you met Mendy and Jeffrey. You say you're to read a mystery and select a creative project having to do with the mystery? What creative project did you decide to do?
As for your interest in the book's subject, I imagine Mendy felt very sad that Jeffrey's father was a member of the Klan. As a young girl I realized that people I knew and respected were also part of the Klan in North Carolina, and I can tell you it hurt. I didn't mind that the Klan thought Jesus died for them, because I didn't believe for one minute that he died "just for them," but for all people. My father told me some people were just confused sometimes.
Thank you for reading Circle of Fire... and for selecting it as your project. I hope you'll write back and let me know what you decide to do as your project?
Words are very powerful, aren't they? I'm sure you've gathered that the book involves a story about a little girl who finds out about the Klan in the 1950s. Bravo to Evelyn for covering this issue with honesty and sensitivity so that young girls like Jordan can begin to understand the impact of history. I so appreciate all the American Girl products and books -- no commercial endorsements or advertisements, only things from a wholesome and intelligent point of view.