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I get misty when during our ongoing basement purge I open a shoebox to find letters from old pen-pals. It’s a pleasure my kids are unlikely to share. I was ecstatic when one box yielded a long-lost childhood artifact – an autographed picture and tiny, typewritten note from Judy Blume.

I can credit my dad. I had just read the last Blume novel published (at the time) and was moping about the house waiting for the next one. “Why don’t you write to her?” he suggested. He took me to the Lethbridge Public Library and showed me how to look up the address for Blume’s publisher.

Turns out your kids can also have the experience of having a celebrated author write them back. One of our fave new lit sites, The Rumpus, has launched “Letters for Kids” to great excitement on the twitterwebs. For a reasonable monthly fee, children six years of age and older can get real letters in the mailbox – two per month! – from the likes of Daniel Handler, Rebecca Stead or Nathalie Standiford. I’m getting fluttery just thinking about it.

 

As per the website:

Some of the letters will be illustrated. Some will be written by hand. Some will be in color, some will be in black and white. It’s hard to say! We’ll copy the letters, fold them, put them in an envelope, put a first class stamp on the envelope, and send the letters to you.

Many of the authors will include a mailing address on their letter so you can write back. But we can’t guarantee it. We can’t control these people. Some of them live in the woods.

Anyway, this is fun. Six is pretty much the perfect age to start checking your mailbox.

So, your kids can experience the thrill of finding a piece of mail in the mailbox actually addressed to them, and you can feel sentimental and pleased with yourself that they’re not missing out on this fundamental life experience.
Subscriptions are $9/month for Canadians and $4/month if you’re in the U.S., and all proceeds help support The Rumpus, a site for (mostly) grown-ups that we happen to love. And here’s Lisa Yee, author of Millicent Min, Girl Genius holding up her latest missive:
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