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GRAN, YOU’VE GOT MAIL! by Jo Hoestlandt


by Jo Hoestlandt & illustrated by Aurélie Abolivier & translated by Y. Maudet

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73565-0
Publisher: Delacorte

A series of letters between 12-year-old Annabelle and her great-grandmother show Annabelle’s increasing sympathy for the older woman, who becomes a friend and confidante. Typically self-centered at first, Annabelle complains about her family and the loss of her best friend. This prompts her previously brusque great-grandmother to recall a friend she lost, and still misses. Over the six-month span of the letters, Annabelle makes new friends, and the older woman sends her a kitten and some of her old dresses. When Gran has to have her foot amputated, Annabelle has matured enough to realize the seriousness of her condition, and her letters give the ailing woman new hope. Abolivier’s tiny grey-scale drawings identify the writer and illustrate each entry. The translation is modern and reads smoothly, but is more formal than the language a teen writer would realistically use. Overall, this is a believable exploration of the growth of a relationship between a woman with strong, sad memories from the First World War and a member of the digital generation. (Fiction. 10-14)