Dear Mrs. Hutchinson's Class,
I had the nicest surprise waiting for me in my mailbox yesterday. It was a big envelope stuffed with letters from all of you! I hurried back to my house, made a cup of tea, and settled in to read each one of the wonderful notes you had sent me.
When I wrote Ting Ting I wasn't quite sure who would end up reading it. But I knew who I hoped would read it. I wanted it to be children just like you. Some of you came to Canada from other countries, just like Ting Ting. Some of you have parents who came to Canada from other countries. And some of you have friends who immigrated here, so you're like Ting Ting's friend Hannah.
You asked me some questions, so I will try to answer them as best I can.
Q: Can I please write more books?
A: I have written one more book since I wrote Ting Ting. It's called The Moment, and one of you mentioned in your letter to me that you are reading it.
Q: How did the grandfather get sick? Did he get a disease?
A: Ting Ting's grandfather was very old. He didn't have a disease, just a tired heart.
Q: Why did Ting Ting's family go to Canada?
A: Ting Ting's father was studying in Canada. Canada offered him the chance to live here permanently, and so her parents decided it would be a good place for Ting Ting to grow up. It was a very hard decision for them to make.
Q: Has this happened to me before?
A: I'm an immigrant myself. It was much easier for me than it was for Ting Ting though. I came here as an adult, and from a country where English is spoken, so I didn't have to learn a new language.
Q: Where did I get the idea?
A: The story idea came from someone I know who immigrated here from China when she was Ting Ting's age. Like Ting Ting, she stayed with an aunt for many months while waiting to join her parents, who were already in Canada. She had to learn English, just like Ting Ting. And there were many people who were kind to her, just like in the story.
Q: Did Ting Ting go back to China?
A: The real Ting Ting stayed in Canada. But she has gone back to China many times to visit her family. Here's a picture of her taken several years ago when we were visiting China. She's eating the stick candy you read about in the book.
Q: How did the story end?
A: The real life Ting Ting grew up and became a doctor. She also married my oldest son, and is now a mom to her own little girl, my granddaughter Lucy. If you look on the side bar of my blog you can see a picture of them under the names "Karsten and Diana."
That you so much for your wonderful letters. I loved each and every one of them. I could tell you put so much hard work into writing them. Mrs. Hutchinson must be very proud of all of you!