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Children's LiteratureThis touching story of friendship tells of a boy living in a Chilean vineyard who wants a friend in a faraway place so hides a note in a box of grapes bound for the U.S. His note, in Spanish, is found by 10-year-old Maggie's father. Maggie takes it to school for the Spanish teacher to translate. Maggie then replies to Max, and Max brings her note, in English, to the farm owner who translates it for him. From then on, Maggie and Max are loyal pen pals, learning about the differences and similarities in each other's lives. Then, when an earthquake hits his area of Chile, Max's school is closed until damage can be repaired. One day, after school reopens, Max and his classmates are thrilled to see piles of boxes, containing all sorts of supplies, sent by his friend Maggie and the children in her class. This book would make an excellent classroom read-aloud to help children understand the concept of pen pals, those living in different cultures, and even how to help when natural disasters strike. This is a particularly timely book after the devastating hurricanes, mudslides and earthquakes of 2005. The illustrations are warm, colorful and appealing. 2005, Henry Holt, Ages 6 to 10.