Leading author meets Somersfield students

  • Author Martin Ganda with students at Somerfield Academy.
  • I will always Write Back book cover.

Zimbabwean author Martin Ganda met with students at Somersfield Academy to discuss his book, which was selected as the secondary department’s summer reading text.

Every year the school invites authors to speak with students with a view of providing meaningful connection between them. This year, the Somersfield Academy Summer Reading Committee selected Mr Ganda, Caitlin Alifirenks and Liz Welch’s joint novel I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives as the secondary division summer reading book.

The book, which hit the New York Times Best Sellers List, tells the true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe and a letter that changed both of their lives for ever. Students in Ms Alifirenks’s class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place.

Mr Ganda was lucky to receive a pen-pal letter as there were only ten letters and 50 children in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.

That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

In the book they recount how they became best friends — and better people — through their long-distance exchange.

Mr Ganda told The Royal Gazette: “Caitlin and I wrote the book to share our story with the world. We wouldn’t have done it without the hard work and immense talent of Liz Welch.

“The book highlights the notion of hope and our story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, gratitude, generosity and kindness.”