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 acting editor in chief / executive editor 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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