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Anjer, Java, Dutch East Indies
3 November 1880

Dear Mr. Charles Darwin,

I recently finished reading On the Origin of Species, and it has opened my eyes to the world. Vader—that’s my father—let me read it when I asked why the Asian paradise-flycatcher and the racket-tailed treepie both had long tails but didn’t look alike.

Now I know they both evolved differently.
 
I see lots of beautiful birds and animals here. We live on the west coast of Java with the ocean near our front door and the jungle almost in our backyard.

I love the jungle. I explore it almost every day because I plan to prove your theory of natural selection. Did you know there are people who don’t believe it’s true? I’m going to do what you did and collect specimens—hundreds of them, maybe even thousands—to show how one species changes over time into a new species.

Lots of times my friend Slamet explores with me. He tells me about the plants and flowers in the jungle because I’m not very good with vegetation. I prefer animals. Slamet is native and knows all about plants. His mother is our housekeeper, but we’ve been friends forever. Do you think that’s strange? Some of the girls in my school think it’s funny that my closest friend is a native boy, but I don’t think so.
Those girls usually call us names when we go to the beach together. Slamet and I ignore them. On the beach we can see all the way to Sumatra and even the volcano on Krakatau.

Have you ever been to Krakatau? It’s an island. No one lives there, but I’m sure some animals do. Birds could fly there without any trouble; it’s only forty kilometers from Anjer. I long to visit, but neither Vader nor my aunt will let me. My aunt says it’s too dangerous since it’s a volcano.Vader said it’s extinct, but he still won’t let me go. It can’t be that dangerous if it’s extinct, can it?

Perhaps you could visit Java someday, and we could explore Krakatau together. I could be your assistant. No one could object then because you are an important scientist.

Thank you for writing On the Origin of Species. I loved it, and I hope one day to meet you.

Yours in admiration,
Katrien Courtlandt

--from Sara Joiner's AFTER THE ASHES, debuting in 3 days!!!!
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Some great interviews and giveaways for Susan Fox's LOVE SOMEBODY LIKE YOU!

Harlequin Junkie (spotlight interview, excerpts, giveaway): http://harlequinjunkie.com/spotlight-giveaway-love-somebod…/

Fresh Fiction (guest blog on “soundtrack to romance”, giveaway): http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=7653

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Kicking off fall with this lovely artwork by Maria Bogade!

#ProspectPics  
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It's Prospect Agency's annual Old Stone House Soiree today!  Hope to see you there!
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Takako Fisher is an amazing artist!  We love her!

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Haven Hoyt sipped her water, smoothed her napkin over her lap and cast yet another glance toward the door of Charme, the see-and-be-seeen Manhattan restaurant.  Her newest client was late, but that didn’t surprise her.  Mark Webster had a reputation for being all kinds of unpredictable. Compared to some of the reasons his name had been splashed in the press, late to lunch was a minor sin.

--from Serena Bell’s HOT AND BOTHERED

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Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen's DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE is a CBC Children's Choice Finalist!  Way to go, Sudipta!

IN MARY’S GARDEN by Tina and Carson Kügler has been selected as a Midwest Connections Pick for April with MIBA! 

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So excited that BRUNO & LULU'S PLAYGROUND ADVENTURE, illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds, is a NYPL pick for 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014. 

Congrats to all!

http://childrens100.nypl.org/2014/#/_
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