When you are a child, getting your own mail is pretty exciting. Only fun things come in the mail for you when you’re a kid (Hello…Am I the only one who just gets bills these days?). My kids still receive letters in the mail from their grandparents, and they cherish those notes way more than any email they would receive. Remember how fun it was to get letters in the mail when you were a kid? Now imagine how cool it would be to get letters from your favorite authors every month?! This concept is why I was so excited to work on a Letters for Kids subscription review over the last few weeks for our friends at The Rumpus.
To give you some background, Letters for Kids is a subscription service by The Rumpus. With this subscription, you get 2 letters/month written by authors who write books for early and middle grade readers. (Suggested age range – kids 6 to age 12 – though some children are ready earlier and some enjoy it through ages 13 and 14.)
We received a huge packet of letters so that we could work on a Letters for Kids Subscription review, and my kids were ecstatic to browse through them when they arrived. They eagerly waited to receive a new letter and to read what it entailed. These letters are written by the authors themselves and include fun stories about their lives or what they did that week. It could also include information about where they live, why they write, etc. You’ll hear from writers like Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler, Adam Rex, Kerry Madden, Natalie Standiford, Susan Patron, Rebecca Stead and Cecil Castellucci, just to name a few! Some of the letters will be in black and white – some will be in color. Some will be illustrated, and some will be written by hand. Not only do I love the concept of this program, but it creates a springboard into researching the authors your children love most and reading a new book series.
I have to admit, we were caught in a rut when it came to new books. When my kids get into a new series, they can’t put it down, but finding that next book, or set of books that they enjoy can be difficult. With this subscription, we’ve now found a great way to introduce new authors and illustrators that we hadn’t thought of before, or had even known about.
As a homeschooling mom, I am always trying to find ways to engage my kids with learning. After the first letter that they opened, we decided to head to the library and find a book by the author (we found Nanny X by Madelyn Rosenberg). They checked out the book and really enjoyed it. It was hilarious. Who doesn’t love secret agent Nannies & diaper phones? Think Mary Poppins for our children’s generation. We read it aloud as a family, and then decided to write a letter to the author to see if we would get a response. I warned them that not all authors will write back, but just the practice of writing a letter to the author, and coming up with questions and suggestions on what to write was fun for them. Bonus – I added a little writing & grammar lesson into the day when we were doing this together. I told them that we had to make sure our writing was good enough to send to the author. 🙂 Win-Win!
This is a wonderfully fun way to keep your kids engaged in reading and learning about the authors that write their favorite books, in addition to finding new authors that we didn’t know about previously.
This subscription service brings back so much nostalgia for me. I loved getting letters in the mail when I was a kid.
This subscription service is simple, it’s interesting and it’s inexpensive. These beautifully written letters also open up a new world for kids. It shows them that authors are not just a name on the books they read. They are real people who have experiences and thoughts about what they write about or their everyday lives, just like our own children do.
At just $6.50/month, it is an incredible way to get your kids excited about reading, learning about the backgrounds of these authors, and researching other authors on their own.
Did I also mention that many of the authors will include a mailing address so you can write back?!
Letters for Kids Subscription Review – Here are just a few of their past authors:
- Matt Holm
- Rebecca Stead
- Lemony Snicket
- Susan Patron
- Lisa Yee
- Janet Tashjian
- Adam Rex
- Kate Messner
- Sherri L. Smith
- Emily Jenkins/E Lockhart
- Trudi Trueit
- Dana Alison Levy
- Paul Durham
- Patrick Jennings
ABOUT LETTERS FOR KIDS SUBSCRIPTION
Letters for Kids is a program of the on-line literary magazine The Rumpus founded by author Stephen Elliott in 2009. Letters In The Mail, an adult subscription, was introduced in 2012 and received rave reviews from MSNBC, CBS This Morning, Huffington Post and USA Today. The program was so successful that a children’s version, Letters For Kids, was started later that same year.
Letters For Kids is managed by Cecil Castellucci. She is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, and the Eisner-nominated Odd Duck. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. She is the former Young Adult editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, a two time Macdowell Fellow and the Children’s Correspondence Editor for The Rumpus.
Learn more about The Rumpus & the Letters for Kids Subscription service here: http://therumpus.net/letters_for_kids/
Did you like our review of The Rumps & the Letters for Kids Subscription Service? View our other reviews here: https://howtohomeschool.com/curriculum-reviews
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