Pen Pal

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#206: “Pen Pal”
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Psalm 146:1-10

11 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

2I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. 4When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-- the LORD, who remains faithful forever. 7He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, 8the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. 9The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10The LORD reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD.

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“Pen Pal” is episode #206 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Vann Trapp and Paul McCusker, and originally aired on October 3, 1992.


Melanie Jacobs gets a big surprise when her pen pal suddenly arrives in Odyssey for a visit – and she's blind!



Melanie Jacobs is ecstatic. Her pen pal, Jenny Roberts, a girl Mel has never met, is coming for dinner. But when Melanie meets Jenny, she is taken aback. Jenny is blind. Jenny lost her sight to a disease when she was seven years old. Melanie tries to be friendly, but she is unable to get past the fact that Jenny can’t see.

What makes Melanie really upset, however, is that Robyn seems to be getting along better with Jenny than Melanie is. The two Jacobs girls take Jenny all over town and to all sorts of events, including a soccer match and a carnival. At the carnival, Jenny plays a trick on Melanie in the Maze of Mirrors. This sends Melanie over the edge. She lashes out at Jenny and Robyn.

Later, at home, Jenny apologizes to Melanie and reads her a letter she was going to send before her visit, a letter revealing that she is blind. Jenny says Melanie has to realize that she’s the same person who wrote all those letters, she loves to laugh and play and have fun, and they can do all those things together. Jenny adds that she knows Mel is scared of Jenny’s disability and offers to help her get over her fear. Melanie agrees, and the two of them stop being pen pals...and start becoming good friends.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Melanie react the way she did when she learned Jenny was blind?
  2. Why was Melanie angry that Robyn and Jenny got along so well?
  3. Do you know any special people like Jenny?
    • How do you treat them?


Role Voice Actor
Ann Jacobs Ann Ault
Circus announcer Bob Luttrell
Dale Jacobs Phil Lollar
Jenny Roberts Natalie Babbitt
Linda Roberts Vaughn Taylor
Melanie Jacobs Erin Bolte
Mike Roberts Tom Williams
Robyn Jacobs Sage Bolte


  • This episode introduces Jenny Roberts, who was the first handicapped character to regularly appear on AIO.
  • Not counting retrospective episodes, this episode also marks the final appearances of both Robyn and Melanie Jacobs, though Robyn would later reappear many years later for a cameo in #???: “B-TV: Live”.
  • Listen carefully to the background dialogue as everyone other than Melanie and Jenny walk into the kitchen: Vaughn Taylor as Linda Roberts comments that she'd love something to drink because it was a "long drive." Just a minute earlier, however (before the commercial break), Linda had commented what a quick drive it was! Perhaps when Linda referred to the drive as quick she meant in relation to how long she had expected it to take, rather than the actual time spent in the vehicle.



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