I want to tell you a quick story, with permission from who told it to me, of the unexpected ways books connect us. A few years ago I did a photographic essay of men and boys reading Princess Academy to illustrate that, yes, this does happen and yes, it is okay for heaven's sake. One of the participants is this man, who I've known for years:
He is a family man. He has many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and is hands-on involved in their lives in an active, loving manner. He's a treasure. A few years ago one of his grandchildren gave up her two precious children for adoption. As is often the case, even though it was for the best, it was still very hard for the whole family.
The two kids, a brother and sister, joined a loving family. And not knowing that their birth grandparents knew me, they apparently became fans of my books. One day the grandson is reading through my past blog posts and sees the above picture. He recognizes "Papa." And so the boy has his mother take a picture of him reading Princess Academy in the same manner, recreating the photo. His adoptive mother sends the picture to his birth mother, who shows the birth grandparents. And today, with tears, they showed it to me.