I received this letter from a reader the other day. She is a student in Mr. Widen's class who had access to an advanced reader copy of A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT. You'll notice her favorite character is Horse, a young man who refuses to talk through out the entire story. That's a picture of him at the bottom of the letter where he's written in the sand, "Stop. Stop talking to me like you know me."
The reader learns why he doesn't speak near the end of the book. I've had two other people tell me their favorite character is Horse. He's mysterious and complicated. We don't know his story, though he's there through most of the book.
On Thursday, February 16, this book will be available in bookstores. The main character, Tetsu, is modeled after the real gentleman who played first base and pitcher for the team while he lived in Gila River for almost four years of his young life. The book is dedicated to him because without his help, I would have never been able to write it.
I look up at the 1000 paper cranes that hang in my office, which were given to me by this gentleman, and I know they are bringing luck my way, just as he said they would.