To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Written by Jenny Han
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?
Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved-five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
Primary Source Pairing:
Ah, the art of a love letter. Lara Jean never meant for the boys she loved to see her love letters to them, but alas, they did, and now everything is out in the open, but maybe that’s okay. Maybe it will help Lara Jean find herself. And maybe it will help her find the true meaning of love. For this primary source pairing, invite students to analyze a love letter, one of many, written from Tracy Sugarman to his wife during World War II. Also present the envelope from the letter to students as part of the analysis. These letters are collected in the Veteran’s History Project at the Library of Congress and also published in a book called My War: A Love Story in Letters and Drawings by Tracy Sugarman.
Questions for Discussion (letter and envelope):
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- How much of the text can you read? What does it say?
- What do you see that looks strange or unfamiliar?
- How are the words arranged?
- What do you notice about the page the writing appears on?
- What do you see on the page besides writing?
- What other details can you see?
- What tools and materials were used to create it?
- What can you learn from examining this?
- How does this letter compare to the letters written by Lara Jean? How is it different?
My War: A Love Story in Letters and Drawings by Tracy Sugarman
Veteran’s History Project at the Library of Congress