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Peer Work

Home  >  Peer Work
Mandy's Letter to Susan Fletcher
By Mandy Pershing
Genre: Non-fiction Level: Junior 7-9
Year: 2004 Category: Letters About Literature

Dear Susan Fletcher,

Your book, Shadow Spinner, was one of the most fantastic books I have ever read. It taught me about bravery and compassion. When I heard about Marjan and her crippled foot, it truly broke my heart. But as I read on, I realized how her foot saved her life. I saw how Shahrazad was so brave, if I could be anyone from any book, I would definitely choose her. But Marjan had a great deal of courage, too. To go out and try risking her life to get that story for Shahrazad was very admirable. I know that forever on, I would always remember how Shahrazad was kind and caring enough to try to help the Sultan. From the time that I read your book, I've always tried to be very compassionate towards others, just like Shahrazad. She is kind of like my role model. I want to be just like her. That is one way your book changed my life; because before, I wasn't as helpful to my coworkers, not as courteous to others.

Every once in a while, when I am scared to do something in my life, I think of how Marjan was so scared too, and I reach even further into myself. Sometimes, when I am even scared of something silly, like a noise in the dark, I think of how Shahrazad could have been killed, and she didn't stop; she kept on finding stories and presenting them to the Sultan, knowing at every moment, every breath, that she could get murdered, but she pushed herself ... still. I admire her for that, and I always will. That is another way your book changed my life.

I got interested in your book because I am fascinated by fantasy, like dragons and fairies, but I am also fascinated by places like Saudi Arabia; desert places, like the area Aladdin took place in, and in this case, your book. I like sultans, palaces, and the things that take place in those kinds of regions. When I first saw your book in my school library, I was eager to check it out and start reading right away. From every page that I turned, it was always turning in a different direction. I love that in a book; something that makes me ponder on different situations, but eventually answers my questions. I like to strain my brain and predict what could happen next. Your book did that for me, as many books seldom do.

My point of view on the book is an interesting one. I thought your book was very good, I couldn't say that enough. I did like a lot of things in it. My favorite characters were Shahrazad and Marjan. My least favorite characters were the Sultan and his mother. If I were Shahrazad, I would have never even married the Sultan. I know that the Sultan just chose girls and married them without even their say, but why didn't she just move to another land? Well, if she did, the story would never have turned out the way it did, I suppose! But I still can't stop my mind wondering off to just think how the story could have turned out if Shahrazad was not as caring and compassionate as she really is. I mean, what if she didn't forgive the Sultan and left?!? That is definitely not the kind of person that I want to grow up to be. I want to be the way the real Shahrazad is.

Your book touched my heart in a different way., I realized in the beginning that Marjan was living in poverty. That made me sorrowful. Then, an opportunity came to me. The opportunity was to donate money to people living poorly, millions of them dying every year. So, I got together with my youth group, and we signed up to give money to the organization. I never would have realized how bad people are living these days if I hadn't read your book. I know that Marjan isn't living in as bad poverty as people today, but your book still opened my eyes.

I know that your book will always be a part of me: the twists and turns, the pondering and wondering, the colorful characters, the wonderful setting, and all the things in between. Thank you.

Yours truly,

Mandy Pershing

P.S. I read your other three books, and I thought they were awesome, too!

Mandy Pershing
7th Grade
Teeland Middle School
Teacher: Linda Volkman


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