By Shanna Spence
What happens to eleven-year-old William Cromwell when his father dies, and his mother becomes ill?
It’s 1865, Manchester, England. The world, as he knows it, changes right before his eyes. Not only his domestic situation but his hometown, as well. A new factory, a growing town, and the harsh reality that he must become the man of the family. Encouragement Letters
Will works after school delivering ledgers for his uncle to earn enough money to support his ailing mum. Food is scarce, clothes are falling apart; a perfect storm for bitterness and despair. But, something is different about Will. Instead of complaining, he learns to follow his father’s example.
A tin box contains letters of encouragement from his father, left to him to read, hoping to lift up a broken-hearted Will.
Shanna Spence weaves the Industrial Revolution in England during the nineteenth century to include a young boy who is perplexed with the changes around him. This story shows how a simple letter of encouragement gives the people he knows and loves around him the ability to carry on. They give joy to the down-hearted and places a warm spot in their heart. Someone sees their despair and recognizes the struggles they endure.
Ms. Spence brings to light what one act of kindness can do to impact one life, to bring hope and joy, to inspire another to return the favor.
These lessons of kindness and respect are relevant to our children today. This new author writes a vivid tale that spans time, making an impact for our young people as they deal with tragedy and loss, change, and uncertainty in our world today.
I recommend this book for pre-teen through young adult.