"Dear Jim & Susan (& Ruby Sophia)

"Hi! It's me (Echo, Beth, ? etc.). How is everything going? Everything is OK here, I guess. How is the book coming? Last time I talked to you, it seemed like it was really going somwhere.

"The problem you are going to face, I think, is trying to bridge the gap between 'society' and the kids whose problems you portray. Very few people can cross that bridge, because they are uncomfortable with the fact that these kids are products of themselves. They would rather classify them and give them names like 'victim of abuse, drug addicts, runaways,criminals, and mentally ill.' They don't want to respect them for the people that they are. Kids, all kids, are sick of people trying to change them. So many people try to become a part of these kids' lives, and then turn them into whatever they think they should be.

"I have never known you to do that. You showed us as we are, and let us tell the story ourselves. Kids are only going to listen if society first lets them speak with their own voices, without 'editing.' Make sure that your work tells the true stories. Show people that they are not the only ones who matter, and that they do not have the right to classify kids into neat boxes, because that will not make them go away. Instead, it will make their numbers grow. Enough of that now! I sometimes babble on, but that should be no surprise to you or me. what would be a surprise is if any of it made sense!

                "I have to go now, but I'll talk to you soon!
                " Love, Beth, et. al."

"Raised by Wolves" copyright 1995 -- Jim Goldberg. All Rights Reserved.


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