I do not deserve all the many gifts life has given me, but I do treasure them all. And I am especially grateful for the words of one Eleanore Hamilton, 4th grader, who received an honorable mention in the Letters About Literature contest for a letter she wrote to yours truly. Out of 70,000 entries, Eleanore’s shone bright.
Look at how she started it: “Dear Kirby Larson, I love how Hattie Big Sky has a “bumpy” life.”
I wrote the darn book and I couldn’t have come up with a better way to sum up Hattie’s life than “bumpy.” Not only does Eleanore’s writing make me the eensiest bit jealous, she’s a true adventurer: like Hattie, she set her curls with sugar water, and heated up water on her stove for a bath (for the record, it took Eleanore an hour and 8 pots of water to fill the tub 1/16th of the way up).
Eleanore wraps her letter by sharing a personal experience that is very similar to Hattie’s at the end of the book. I had been reading the letter aloud to my husband but couldn’t continue when I got to these words: “You see, my family just built a house and thought we were going to stay here forever. We had dreams for it, but we had to sell it and we’re moving out in three days. Like Hattie, I will not throw a tantrum when I leave because leaving is just another bump.”
Eleanore writes in her bio that she wants to be an astronaut when she grows up because “there’s so much to discover in space.”
Don’t you just know that, no matter what Eleanore does, she will soar?
With a spirit like hers, there is no other option.
Kirby, this is priceless. What a treasure Eleanore gave each of us.
Amazing how smart a fourth grader can be, isn’t it?
(Kinda makes me wonder what happens to some of us later.)