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GrandPals

GrandPal Achilleas Antoniades

Ella Leving • May 14, 2024

Achilleas Antoniades — “This is not going to be a long story. It will be just enough to convey my love for these two little boys, whom I had the great fortune to read to this past year at Riverside.”

My little friends Shaham and Vince
“First, it was Shaham, the son of immigrants from Bangladesh. I knew I was going to like him the moment I saw him. He was enthusiastic, talkative, smart, and interested in everything. He had something to say about everything, even though it did not always jive with reality. That’s fantasy, the world of a small boy. He interrogated me about all subjects that came up in our books. I was there to answer. I don’t know if I satisfied his fiery imagination, but the exchange was lively. So lively, I had to try hard to keep him interested in the story we were reading. He had his own take on stories, and once he got going, I couldn’t stop him.

Shaham is going to go places. I know it. He will not sit idle for a moment. He will talk his way through anything. How can you not miss interaction with this fantastic human being? I certainly will.

Then it was Vincent, who joined us halfway through the year. A quiet boy with long blond hair, you could not guess he was a recent immigrant from Brazil. Quiet but smart, his eyes were slowly burning with interest, inquiry, and intrigue.

He was a lovely boy. I would be happy to have him as my real grandson. I didn’t see him much, but I was so happy he recognized me one day when he and his parents met me at McCaffrey’s. He was a delight to read to and such a contrast to Shaham. I will miss them both.”

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