Gran, You've Got Mail!by Jo Hoestlandt, Aurlie Abolivier (Illustrator), Y. Maudet (Translator)
ANNABELLE’S FATHER WANTS her to master her computer keyboard. Annabelle thinks the chore will be more tolerable if she writes letters to someone. She chooses Gran, her great-grandmother. Of course, Gran is most definitely not online, so Annabelle prints and mails her letters off. At first, Gran takes her time answering—and she’s in the habit of repeating herself—but soon the two are keeping up a steady correspondence. Letter by letter, a true, tender friendship evolves. Annabelle and Gran talk about everything: parents, movies, school, the past and the present. When Annabelle divulges a big secret—the reason she and her best friend are no longer speaking—Gran remembers a similar situation. And when Gran needs foot surgery, Annabelle begins to worry.
Told through letters written between Annabelle and her great grandmother, this novel touches on issues of friendship and getting to know one's family. At first, Annabelle writes to Gran because her father wants her to learn how to use her computer and improve her typing. It is clear from the beginning that the two are not very familiar with one another, and at times don't understand each other's lifestyles. Initially, Annabelle comes off as rude, telling her grandmother, "I wish you'd make an effort" and "maybe you couldn't care less." Gran, on the other hand, does not understand Annabelle sometimes either, such as why she would want to go see Titanic on a sunny day. Originally published in France in 1999, the novel seems dated. Additionally, the title will most likely lead readers to think of email, and Annabelle is actually mailing her letters. There are also subjects that she studies in school that American students will not recognize. A notes section explains certain terms, but unfortunately they're at the back of the book. As the letters progress, a true and tender friendship between Annabelle and Gran develops, and readers become involved in their stories.-Sarah O'Holla, Village Community School, New York City
Meet the Author
Jo Hoestlandt is a prolific author of books for children in her native France.
Aurélie Abolivier illustrates books for children in France.
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