Review of Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids

Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids
by Christine French Cully
Highlights    336 pp.    g
8/21    978-1-64472-325-8    $24.99
e-book ed.  978-1-64472-390-6    $15.99

“When a child writes to you, you write back with care and respect,” states Highlights Editor in Chief Cully. The magazine began publication in 1946; in 1979 it debuted its “Dear Highlights” column (still published today) to address readers’ questions, comments, and concerns. This volume compiles a subset of those letters, from the thousands upon thousands received (and all answered, though only a fraction published). Each section — about Family, School, Friendship, Biases & Exclusion, COVID-19, Really Hard Things, and more — begins with an exploration of theme, followed by well-designed spreads with reproductions of kids’ notes, letters, emails, poems, illustrations, etc., and the Highlights editors’ responses. Some entries are funny, others heart-tugging and/or thought-provoking. Although the world has changed “dramatically,” “kids’ concerns have changed very little,” states Cully, and this browsable volume provides insight into their perspectives.

From the January/February 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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