A soldier's lifeline

Morgan Baden  //  Jan 15, 2014

A soldier's lifeline

"Art and music and books aren't extras," author Trent Reedy explains. "They're essential."

And he would know. CBS News This Morning aired a spectacular story today, and while many of us at Scholastic know it well, we think readers like you will appreciate it just as much.

When Trent Reedy -- then an English teacher who joined the U.S. Army following the September 11 attacks -- was stationed in Afghanistan, his wife sent him a copy of Bridge to Terabithia. It moved him so much, he wrote a letter to author Katherine Patterson. (She wrote back, and their correspondence lasted throughout his deployment.)

But then, he did more. He met a little girl in Afghanistan who was born with a cleft lip, and he and his fellow troops raised money to help her. When he left Afghanistan, he promised her he'd tell her story. So he enrolled in a writing program upon his return to the U.S...and eventually, Scholastic published Words in the Dust, his first novel.

The brief video interview with Reedy and Patterson, much of it filmed in Scholastic's NYC headquarters, is well worth the watch. Reedy's second novel, Divided We Fall, is in stores next month.