I’ve received many emails from people who’ve enjoyed and appreciated Beatleness since it came out in the summer of 2014. It’s difficult to express how gratifying these emails are, and they make the very hard work of writing a book feel worth every second. The reader reviews at amazon are also extremely gratifying.
Perhaps the most gratifying review was the one that arrived via snail mail, handwritten in pencil on loose-leaf paper, by a sixth-grader in California.
One of my goals in writing Beatleness was so that young people, today and in the future, would understand what it was like to grow up in America in the 1960s, witnessing unprecedented social change and political turmoil, while tuned in to the Beatles. My goal was not only to document Beatles fandom and how each record was received by fans, but to make real the interplay between the music and culture change. I think I accomplished these goals.
Many young people are intrigued by the sixties, and it’s not only the cool fashions and great pop music.
I’ve often said that reading Beatleness is as close as young people will get to time travel back to the famously “groovy” and “tumultuous” sixties. This reader’s letter confirmed the truth of that. But equally important to me as an author, I learned that my sociocultural analysis of the Beatles phenomenon can be understood and enjoyed by readers as young as twelve!
If there’s a young Beatle fan or history buff in your life, Beatleness would make a perfect graduation gift. It will encourage their interest in music and history, and it will keep them reading. It’s a gift that never has to be plugged in, recharged, or upgraded. Young Beatleness readers will also come away with a greater understanding of their parents or grandparents. And you know that can’t be bad.
Below is the text of the middle schooler’s letter, complete with charming misspellings:
Dear Candy Leonard,
I was given the novel Beatleness by my fifth grade edicator. I am in the sixth grade now, and evry Friday morning I go to help him. He knows that I am a Mager Beatle fanatic. I’ve been told by my class mates I know too much about the Beatles, and have a lot of merchendice. Yes I have all the remastered vinyl records. A lot of my class mates disagree with the notion that the Beatles are the best music group of all time. Perhaps they never listend to any Beatle songs, or some other obnoxious and unsifisticated reson. Let’s go on to the book. This novel was stupendes, I never knew that in late 1967 fans stoped likeing the Beatles and started likeing the monkees. I also liked how you put the colems of waht people said, it was vary interesting. My father was my age when he saw the Beatles on the ed sullivan show, my dad loves them but he lived in a republican household so there were not to many oportoniteys to get a beatle LP. The two Beatles I relate to most are Jhon and George. This novel really shows the little detales of the fans and what the beatles went through.
Sinserly your new penpal,
PS. Thank you for wrighting this book