"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.