Dear Ben Mikaelsen,
What do you think makes a beautiful person? Before I read your book Petey, I thought being a beautiful person meant having great looks. That's it. I didn't think about feelings, or attitude, or personality.
One day, after finishing your book, I went to a park. My family and I were about to leave when we noticed a little boy stuck at the top of the playground. He was helpless and confused. And let's just say, he wasn't the cutest kid ever. No one in my family volunteered to help him. So just as were driving away, I thought about your book. I noticed that the boy's parents were nowhere in sight, he wasn't really attractive, and he had trouble expressing himself. All of those things he had in common with Petey. Then I remembered all of those people like Cassie, Joe, Owen, and Trevor who stood up for Petey and helped him. Right then, I told my dad to stop the car so I could help the boy.
When we finally left, I felt like a better person. I knew that people didn't have to be good looking to earn your attention and respect. After I finished your book, my definition of beautiful changed. To me now, a truly beautiful person is someone whose inner beauty shines more than their outer one. It also made me realize all those people who don't have strong voices. For example, someone like that boy on the playground that day, or an injured animal, or of course, someone like Petey.
I don't know if that boy remembers me, but I do know Petey made me a better person. So thank you Mr. Mikaelsen, for your powerful words.