Letter from John

I had sent this before to the email on your mother’s site, but as I cannot be sure it went through I wanted to be sure it made it to you guys. Thanks for continuing your mother’s wonderful work!

Dear Mrs. McCaffrey,

I wish to begin by telling you how much I enjoy your writing, but before I get into the reason I am writing to you I want to give you a little background information about myself.

I am an only child the son of an elementary/special education teacher, and understandably I went into school knowing most of what I was learning including how to read. I was ahead of my peers and was bored with the books that were read to us; it was at this point that my dislike of reading began. As I went on in school my reading ability was always above my age level and the reading program used at my school at the time would not allow you to read books above your age range, this only made my dislike of reading worse. By the time I was in the 6th grade (12 years old) I could not stand reading, and I did not see how people could read for pleasure. This greatly upset my family as they were all avid readers and our house had to have an extra room made into a library to store all of their books. It was in my 7th grade year that everything changed.

I had a new English teacher who was very pro-reading and we always read at least a short story each day. Around two months into the year we were assigned to read a story which changed my life. It was a printing of “The Smallest Dragonboy” and I loved it. Within two weeks I had read every book in the Dragonrider series that had been written up until that point (1998-1999). Everyone was glad I was now enjoying reading, but they were far from understanding what I felt. I did not enjoy it, I needed it! A burning desire had awoke within me and with each book I read I experienced pure joy.

I have grown and aged since then, and there is not a day that goes by that I do not read something for the pure joy that it gives me. I am happy to say that your books, which I have now read them all, takes the center spot in my collection. If I do not have a new novel to read, it is the Dragonrider series that I go back to reread. I always have at least one McCaffrey book with me no matter where I go. From that one change in my life my plans for the future have done a 180. Where before I wanted nothing more to work with computers I now have work in the school system for 5 years. I am about to finish my degree to be a teacher where I am dual majoring in Elementary and Special Education. I hope that one day I will be able to make such a change in a student’s life.

Words alone cannot describe how much I want to thank you for helping me discover both my calling in life and the joy of reading, you will forever be one of my heroes.

My Eternal Thanks,

Hi John,

I’ve forwarded this letter on to Mum.

Being a teacher is one of the most important and hideously underpaid vocations in the world today. I’m sure you’ll make a great one!