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Many of the experiences we have in elementary school shape the person we become in adulthood. Often those experiences are embarrassing or even painful. But what if you could write your younger self a letter to ensure him or her that everything was going to be alright? Or even better, what if you could send that letter along with a copy of your newly published picture book?
We asked Paul Czajak, author of Monster Needs to Go to School, illustrated by Wendy Grieb, to do that very thing. His Monster & Me series incorporates universal themes such as friendship, fitting in, and finding your voice. Here’s what Paul had to say to his childhood self:
Guess what? It’s me! I mean you! I mean not you now you, but you future you. I know, crazy. But don’t think too hard about it, or this letter may cause some sort of time paradox and destroy the universe.
Any way you should have just moved to Massachusetts and are starting the third grade. You are in for a treat, Mrs. Tammero is a wicked awesome teacher. I know, ‘wicked awesome’ isn’t something you say coming from Iowa, but give it a few weeks it’ll roll off the tongue.
I can’t tell you much about the future, because of the whole time paradox thing, but I can give you some advice.
First, if you see your new friends teasing, don’t join in. Tell them it isn’t cool. I know, it’s tough speaking up to your friends especially when you’re the new kid, but you wouldn’t want to be teased, right?
Second, please put some effort into learning how to spell and where a comma should go. It would really help me right now.
Finally, if you see a giant mound of dirt, don’t climb to the top and jump off. It’s too high.
You got that? IT’S. TOO. HIGH!!
That’s about it. Have fun! And go and see Empire Strikes Back! It’s awesome!!!!
P.S. I attached the winning billion dollar Power ball numbers to this letter. DON’T LOSE THEM! I’ll know, because I’ll still be poor after I mail this letter.
Paul Czajak got an ‘F’ with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in Massachusetts with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has rediscovered his passion for writing and looks forward to sharing his stories for years to come. For more information, visit Paul online at paulczajak.com.