Children’s author visits Paton-Churdan

Julia Cook talking with students

Children’s author Julia Cook, part author and part inspirational speaker, visited the Paton-Churdan school on Friday. She talked with all P-C and Glidden-Ralston elementary students about their potential to be writers, and “to give you some ideas to become a better person,” she told the students.

Cook is a former school teacher and school counselor. In the past nine years she has published 76 books, all of them research-based on modern topics that affect children. She has been endorsed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Centers for Disease Control, Safe and Sound, Childwatch of North America, and more.

She told the children that there aren’t enough books for kids. “Who’s better to write them than you? You can do it. You’re professional kids.”

She told of author B.T. Julian, real name Morgan Julian Voss, who had her first novel published when she was 13 years old. Voss, now 15, has published four novels.

She said publishers don’t care how old an author is. “They care about one thing. If you have a good idea between your ears, you can write,” she said.

A page from Julia Cook’s “The Technology Tail”

Her books are all instructional and have intriguing titles like “My Mouth is a Volcano”, “Wilma Jean, the Worry Machine”, “A Bad Case of the Tattle Tongue”, and “Gas Happens”.

She read the students several of her books as the pages were shown on a large screen. “The Judgmental Flower” is her favorite. She called it her “heart on paper,” and added, “it’s about what we need to get along in the world. It’s a book for all ages.”

In rapid-fire, age-appropriate language, she paced up and down the auditorium aisles talking about social media, understanding their name as a brand for a good product, the difference between hearing and listening, over-use of video games and all electronic devices, personal safety, and playing outdoors.

She shared a statistic from a study that showed that 74 percent of kids nationally feel undervalued by their parents because of their parents use of cell phones and other devices. She suggested to the students that they very bluntly tell parents, “Just put your phone down and talk to me for a few minutes. Aren’t I more important than you cell phone?”

In her closing, she told children to “be a little taller, a little smarter, a little better than when you came in so when it’s your turn to run the world you can do a better job that we have. Go outside and play, be a kid, have some fun.”

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