Letter essay #3- Syrine Karm

Recently, I finished reading My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry, a 372 pages fiction book by Fredrik Backman. He is a Swedish columnists, writer and blogger. He lives with his wife and two daughters. His books were translated in 25 other languages. He published My grandmother told me to tell you she’s sorry on August 30, 2013. I chose this book because I saw it on a bookshelf by itself at my house, the cover seemed fun and the title just made me want to read it, My grandmother told me to tell you she’s sorry has a lot mystery to it, when you read that, you want to know why was the grandmother sorry and why couldn’t the grandmother tell you she is sorry herself. And when I turned the book and saw the back, I knew that I was going to read the book. The back was detailed enough so that I could understand the story but not too much detailed so I could still have mystery.

Elsa is eight years old and different. SHe lives with her grandmother, mom and her mom’s boyfriend. Her best friend and only friend is her grandmother but she is crazy. She is crazy enough that she shoots strangers with a paintball gun on her balcony. Every night, they go in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. They are stories that her grandmother tells her, and with her imagination, she makes every word come to life. But her grandma dies, and it is devastating for Elsa. “The mightiest power of death is not that it can make someone die but that it can make people left behind want to stop living.” After her grandmother’s death, she finds a letter. That is when Elsa’s adventure begins. The letter is a sorry letter, and Elsa has to give it to the person whose name is on it. And after, it will lead her to another letter that she will have to give to someone else. It will be a whole treasure hunt. Elsa’s grandmother always loved treasure hunts. But she can’t do the treasure hunt by herself, all her new friends, that she makes on the way to having the last letter, helps her.

I didn’t agree with how the author made the Land-of-Almost-Awake just imagination because Elsa and her grandmother used to go but when her grandmother died, she couldn’t anymore. When she began the treasure hunt, she could again but it doesn’t make sense that she couldn’t go in between of those times because all she needs is her imagination.

I was surprised when one of Elsa’s new best friend left because he was scared of something. He isn’t normally scared of anything so I found it a little bit weird but it gives some mystery to what is happening. He was meant to stay and protect her, as her friend and guard. It was sad when he left because he just left without any warning and no reason why he did that. And with the loss of her grandmother, it was a lot for a eight years old to take in. A lot of people are leaving her and she is starting to question herself now.

I liked the way the author made the grandmother have a treasure hunt,after her death. For Elsa it must have been fun and a cool way of honoring her grandmother. I liked how the treasure hunt involve real people in it and not only a little treasure hunt inside your house. In the book, Elsa did the treasure hunt and found the last letter but I keep asking myself what would have happened if she didn’t, what would have happened if someone else did it and all sorts of questions I might never know the answer to.


Finally, I was interested in this passage, when Elsa and her younger friend and neighbor go to school and show the other kids the true meaning of happiness and love and acceptement. Fredrik Backman writes:

“In the autumn, the boy with a syndrome starts in the first year. When there’s a costume party, he comes dressed up as a princess. A group of older boys laugh and make fun of him, until he starts crying. Elsa and Alex notice this and take him outside… When they go back in, Elsa and Alex are also dressed up as princesses. Spider-Man princesses (pg.369-370).”

What I like about this passage is that Elsa and Alex have the little guy’s back. They show that they care about him. It shows also real life, a lot of people have others judge them for how they dress when they shouldn’t say their opinion. If something like that happened to me, I would have loved someone like Elsa and Alex with me. After they are all dressed up, they are happy and couldn’t care less about what the others think.

I am glad I read this book because it taught me things I wouldn’t have thought of before and made me realize some things in life like you are going to lose someone at some point and it will hurt a lot; you might have one friend when you’re young but will have many more over the next years; etc.. My grandmother told me to tell you she’s sorry is a 4/10.




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1 thought on “Letter essay #3- Syrine Karm

  1. Nicely done, Syrine. And it’s refreshing to see a student rate a book so low: 8s, 9s and, especially, 10s should be reserved for the exceptional ones. A lot of stuff out there today, it seems, is simply average.

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