It’s Monday! What are you reading? new fiction

This weekend I read an new book from Kimberly Willis Holt that will be released in April. I loved When Zachary Beaver Came to Town so I was interested to see what she would do with this book.

KWHDear Hank Williams has a slow beginning but pulls you in if you stay with it. Holt has chosen to write this book as a series of letters to the new up and coming music star Hank Williams. Historical events, a strong setting slowly develop as Tate tells Mr. Williams about her life in each of her letters. Those letters begin with a wonderful life but fade away as Tate finds she needs to be honest with Hank.

I was surprised where Holt took the story and the emotions she was able to convey through a series of one way letters – since Hank Williams never writes back. Tate does receive a couple press photos of him but this is her story, her family and a look at the late 1940’s.

As a teacher this book offers so many places to discuss:

  • A mentor text in writing letters
  • A good model for historical fiction
  • A connection to building friendships with other cultures (Tate’s class was to write letters to a Pen Pal in Japan – after WW II no one was  happy to take that step including Tate.)
  • The issue of race in small town America appears (Why won’t Aunt Patty drive over to Constance’s house?)
  • Painful events with family (Tate is being raised by her Aunt Patty Cake – Mom is in prison, and is dad gone , and more)
  • How a community helps when times are hard

Watch for this book in the spring – a great read and it might be a great way to end your school year. Maybe your students would like to find a new friend in an old fashion way – Pen Pals and writing letters.

Ok, so you could send the letters by e-mail but still the art of writing a great letter is worth the time.  Can you tell a great story in the letters you write?

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Book Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to It’s Monday! What are you reading? new fiction

  1. Myra GB says:

    Great to read such a detailed review about this title. 🙂

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