Ezra’s Books

A Letter to Amy

Harper & Row (now Viking), 1968

Peter is having a birthday party, and he’s asked all of his friends to come. But Amy is a special friend because she’s a girl, so Peter decides to send her a special invitation. When he rushes out in a thunderstorm to mail it, he bumps smack into Amy herself and knocks her to the ground. Will she come to his party now?

Take a Closer Look

Peter is writing to Amy, a girl he likes, inviting her to his birthday party. “It’s sort of special,” he tells his mother. Still, he’s concerned about what his friends will say. When he goes to the mailbox, a thunderstorm threatens: the clouds “race like wild horses,” and the wind blows the letter out of his hand. As he chases the letter, he bumps into Amy and knocks her down, all because he wanted it to be a surprise. She runs away crying. So much is out of his control! Keats reflects his hero’s confusion in the inky, roiling sky above the densely drawn streets. In contrast, he places the lively, social scenes at home on a simple white background. But all ends well. Amy—and her parrot—are a hit with the boys, and when Peter blows out the candles, he keeps his birthday wish to himself.

Look Beyond the Book