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Dear Mr. Eure,
On October 7th of this year, I turned twelve-years-old, but I was only six when my grandmother started reading The Red Wings of Christmas to me. Six years ago, has it been that long? It seems like just yesterday that I was listening to your book while my grandmotherís sweet voice brought to life the characters and events.
Your book moves me to tears at the sight of it. Even now, as I write this essay, I am close to weeping. Why, you ask? Because my grandmother only got to Chapter 10 before leukemia took her meaningful life. The bookmark she put in the book on page 57 is still there. Each time I get a glimpse of it, a flood of tears tries to gush out of my eyes.
The protagonist, Albert, was, at the time, in no way connected to my life. We were in two different boats; me being from a wealthy and close-knit family and he being a poor orphan with no one in the world that cared about him after Tezzy died. His troubles began at age one and mine at six-years-old. He started with his being washed off the boat and mine with my grandmother being confined to the hospital. Both of our sorrowful circumstances got worse. Albertís friend died and my grandmother passed away leaving us both depressed and lonely.
"As quickly as the storm appeared, it was gone." Albert found his way into Santa's sack and I went on with life. Mr. Eure, I did not even consider reading your glorious book for two years. Then, near Christmas time, I found your book among the other holiday keepsakes. I slowly picked it up, my mind racing with the memories of my deceased Grandmother. She had meant so much to me. Then, I began to remember the beautiful illustrations with their vibrant colors and all of your unforgettable characters. I went to the page where we had left off and began reading. . . . I read all of it that same night, the whole time tears steadily rolling down my cheeks.
It wasn't easy reading and I had trouble getting into your book at first because my mind was pulsing with many tearful memories. As I read on, however, I became so engrossed by the plot that it was as if I was an observer of the entire story right beside Albert and the toys as he battled the Grabbies. I could visualize, in my head, everything that you had put on paper. Then, when Albert triumphed over evil and found his long lost family, I was overjoyed at how well the book ended. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute that I had reading it with my grandmother and by myself. Albert got a family and history story, a warm ending, so did I! That year my granddad married again. Now, he and my new grandmother are a joyous couple whom everyone, including me, deeply love.
Thank you! Thank you for writing this book. I will never forget it. I am honored to have read such a classic work of literature.
God bless you,
© The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. (Used by permission.)