Letter from Melissa Ostrom

Dear Students,

A big slice of the American Dream is education. This country promises that if you do your homework, study hard, listen closely, get up for school, attend school faithfully, and finish school, you’ll find happiness and success. But until this country addresses gun violence and our lawmakers pass legislation that protects children’s lives, the USA is dishing up a poisoned dream, if not an outright lie. YOU are calling out that lie. YOU are demanding action. YOU are showing us how there can’t be a dream for a hopeful future when this violent nightmare keeps happening.

I marvel at your strength—at your ability to demonstrate so much articulate courage in your time of tragedy and mourning.

And I stand with you and support you—through my writing, by donating to your cause, and by voting wisely.

As a teacher, as a mother of a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old, as a citizen of this country, and as a writer for young adults, I thank you. From now on, when people ask me why I decided to write for teens, YOU will be my answer, first and foremost. Because you represent change, action, hope, and possibility. Because you are awesome.

In admiration and solidarity,
Melissa Ostrom, Mom, Author, Teacher