September 2, 2020 AM I TOO OLD TO PLAY PRETEND? Hi Nikki, I LOVE BOOKS!!! Sometimes when things are hard in my life, I read and pretend that I’m a character in a book. I’ve even acted like a book character in front of my friends! But now that I’m getting older, people think I’m weird and well. . . DORKY. I like being cool, but I also love reading and imagining what the characters are like…what should I do? Pretty Peculiar Pretender Hi Pretty Peculiar Pretender, I am SOOOO with you! Sometimes I wish I could swap lives with my favorite book characters and go someplace like Hogwarts, Narnia, or Wakanda (pretty much ANYWHERE that would get me away from my annoying little sister, Brianna). I can completely relate to needing an escape from my Not-So-Perfect life. When I read stories, I get to travel to new places and forget my own problems (which, OMG, I’ve got plenty of, LOL!). Plus, when a book character finds their inner power and overcomes their challenges, it makes ME feel like I can do the same thing in my own life! SO, back to playing pretend: First of all, pretending to be a character is FUN!! Otherwise, we wouldn’t dress up on Halloween! Plus, really cool people do stuff like Comic-Con and pretend to be characters all the time! Have you ever heard of Cosplay? When people are big fans of stories, they put in tons of effort to look and act just like their favorite characters. Why? Because they’re just like you and know that it would be SO awesome to live inside their FAV story! Also, did you know that pretending to be a book character can lead to an actual career?! Here are some examples of PROFESSIONAL pretenders to show you that reading and using your imagination is definitely cool! 😊 ACTORS/ACTRESSES: HELLOOOOO! Pretending to be characters is all actors and actresses do! All day long! And they are some of the most cool, cute and popular people ever, right? THEME PARK PERFORMERS– Think about all of those people who work at places like Disney World! Their JOB is to pretend to be a character in a movie or book. They get PAID to use their imagination. Like, how cool is that?!! AUTHORS– It sounds like your imagination is spot-on for being an author! Authors are ALWAYS trying to see what it’s like to be someone else—they are grown-ups who “play pretend” for a living! It’s pretty much the coolest job ever, right??? ARTISTS/ILLUSTRATORS-If you love drawing as much as I do, then you can use that brilliant imagination of yours to CREATE characters, worlds, and all sorts of fun stuff for a living! My advice is to keep reading and loving books! Keep using characters as inspiration and embrace your creativity! Being cool is being YOU. And always remember—DORKS RULE 😀!! Have you ever wanted to be a character in a book? Tell us all about it in the comments!