UNDERCOVER letters from Zionsville Middle School, final entries in the series

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I post now the final UNDERCOVER letters from my continuing series featuring the sixth-grade students of Miss Rachel Bing's Zionsville, IN, class.  See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 for background on this exceptional (high school, as in, Rachel is in high school) teacher and her students.  These letters are breeze and sun, indelible. These letters bring me hope.

From Peyton:

Elisa dropped her mouth in shock, she had won! She had won first place! She ran off the ice into her father’s arms, happy tears running down her cheeks. “Oh, Elisa,” cried her mom, “you were wonderful!” Just then, Theo came up to Elisa, “Can I talk to you?” he whispered. He led her over to a corner. “I want you to know that I’m sorry. I’m done with Lila. When I was with her I was a jerk.” Then he leaned over and kissed her. Elisa looked at him, smiled, and walked away.

Hello Mrs. Kephart! My name is Peyton, I’m twelve years old, I go to ZMS and that is my prediction of what I think would happen after the book ended. Miss Bing is my cadet teacher and she read my class your book, Undercover. When Miss Bing started reading Undercover, I was immediately drawn into it. Every day, she would read us a chapter, but that wasn't enough. We begged her to read more, so finally we were at two chapters a day.
The book was great, but the words you used were amazing. The way you use words is indescribable. One line especially got my attention, “Cruelty is its own brand of hideous.” That was my favorite line in the book. I was wondering you are going to write a sequel to Undercover? I know for sure that a ton of people would read it. Also, are you considering making Undercover a movie? If not, I would consider it. Can’t you see it in your mind? It would be amazing! I too, like you, love to write. I could literally write you pages, and pages, but, we are only aloud to write one page, tops. When I heard that you actually responded, I almost screamed. We were all so happy! Then, Miss Bing said that you said you might feature some of your letters on your blog which made me want to write an even better letter than before. As, we were reading, I was seeing a little bit of myself in each character. Are any of the characters based off you when you were Elisa’s age? I am really looking forward to reading some of your other books, because I will for sure look for them. I hope you know that you are an amazing author and that I hope you continue to write more!

From Ryan:

My name is Ryan and I'm in sixth grade in Mrs. Plantan's class. Miss Bing, our cadet teacher, read us a great book called, Undercover.  This book really inspired me to read more and it taught me not to be mean to people. The character Lila taught me this. I really like the unpredictable plot that was in this book. I think my favorite part was at the end of the book when Elisa's dad was there and her whole family was reunited. My least favorite part was at the end when Lila cut Elisa's beautiful dress for her ice skating concert. You had a lot of great similes and metaphors. I also like the part 1 and the part 2 concepts. Part 1 was more of Elisa writing her letters and trying to be undercover.  In part 2 Elisa is out of her shell and starts to feel content. I also like the symbolism of the marble girl; it reminded me of friendship. It also reminded me to keep my friends and not treat them badly.  It was a really good book and it also was very emotional. It was very hard for me that Elisa's parents were having troubles because I never want that to happen to my parents.  I love the way that Elisa and her sister were in the book, especially when they got along.  I love your book, Undercover and I love listening to people read to me. I don't like reading to myself because there is no expression. I know you like to read in your head and you have people to edit your own books, which you're lucky for that. We only have Miss Bing and Mrs. Plantan to help us and edit our letters. Now I know you have more notes to read so that's enough from me. 

From Sam:

The profound effect that those love poems Elisa made had on the females in your book was outstanding!  I never knew a lonely girl would turn out to be an award winning figure skater!  This book showed me how families could get together even in hard times. My family is having some hard times. Now I know that I can count on myself that we will get through it.  I feel like Elisa, or I'm most like her.  I love writing and enjoy doing sports. I am very swift on my feet and don't like to be vulnerable. I have never made poems for anybody before.  Although, I give advice to people to help them with their lives. All of the elements in this book were unpredictable. (In the good way). The plot itself was so good and I was sitting on pins and needles when listening to this book. 
I noticed that part one was more about the literature and part two was more about her personal life.  All of the information that I got was outstanding.  Your book enhanced my vocabulary by 1,000!!!  This happened more in part one.  Part two was more suspenseful then part one to me.  Most of the people in my class said, “NASTY!”  when Miss Bing read the part when Theo and Lila almost kissed.  I was very surprised that Theo and Elisa didn't hug at the end. We all predicted what would happen at the end of the book, or after the skating.  Some people were silly and said that Elisa would die. I didn't believe them. I truly think that Elisa's dad will stay with them and that there family will come together at the end. 
I was wondering why you wrote the book.  Was it because one of the characters in your life is like Elisa?  I have no idea.  The ending was so mysterious.  I have inspiration to do anything.  I could write a book right now and never stop.  Undercover was a very enjoyable book that took some understanding.
My favorite part of the book was when the English teacher gave her the word book and said to start putting her words of her own in the book.  This could also be at end the end about her finishing the book.  This book helped me understand the way of listening to other people and that I must love everybody in my family and to have hope.  Your book gave me hope.

From Zach:

We recently read your book, Undercover.  I was wondering if you ever considered making the book into a movie because I think if you did that, many people who have read the book would like the movie, too. If it did become a movie, I would definitely want to see it because I really liked the book. The book was great because it is full of suspense and you never know what would happen next. I also really liked how Elisa was like an undercover agent and that few people knew that she wrote poems and how she never really saw her dad much because of his job.

 I also wanted to know if you are planning to make a squeal to the book? If you do make it into a book, I hope I get a chance to read that book. If you do, I think I would definitely want to get a chance to read it. I want to thank you for spending your time to read this letter.


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