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Dear Highlights.

My friends make fun of me because I'm a boy who loves to cook. Should I stop cooking?

Jason (by e-mail)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It's great that you love to cook! Many of the world's most respected chefs are men. Try to have a sense of humor about your friends' teasing. You could say, "When I'm eating good food, I'm not sorry I'm a good cook!" You might even invite your friends to try cooking with you sometime. Perhaps they'll see how much fun it is once they try it!

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I wrote to my friend, and I've waited five days for mail, but she won't answer me.

Jackie R., Montana

Five days really isn't a long time to wait. It takes a while for your letter to reach your friend, and she may not be able to write back right away. She may be away from home or busy with summertime activities.

If you haven't heard from your friend after two or three weeks, then you might write her another letter. Without complaining or criticizing her, let your friend know that you miss her and are anxious to hear from her. This may remind her to sit down and answer your letter.

I love to take pictures, but sometimes they don't turn out. Do you have any advice?

Ashley S., Wisconsin

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

We asked a photographer for tips for improving photos.

Here's what she said:

"Make sure you look carefully through the camera's viewfinder. Then decide if what you see is how you would like the photo to look. Are people positioned nicely in the frame? Can you clearly see the people or other subject that you want to show? Is the camera focused so that the picture will be clear? Sometimes people stand back too far when taking a photo, and then the subject they are focusing on looks too small or far way. Be sure to stand as close to the subject as possible."

Besides trying these good ideas, you might want to see if there are photography classes available in your community.

My dream is to be a professional basketball player, but my sister says the chances are a hundred to one. I'm really worried. What should I do?

Henry W. (by e-mail)

You have as good an opportunity to develop the skill of playing basketball as anyone else. No one can tell what the future will hold for you. This much is certain: if you allow yourself to be discouraged, you'll never reach your goal.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Enjoy playing basketball, practice, and learn all you can. Study the athletes in school and on TV. Read books or magazines that deal with basketball. Listen closely to your coach and follow his or her directions. The harder you try, the more you will learn. Whether or not you become a professional, you will gain skill, confidence, and self-discipline that will benefit you all your life.
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Publication:Highlights for Children
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:489
Previous Article:Blueberry pie.
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