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You’re the boss.

     Would you like to have some new friends? If
so, I have some great news for you. You can make your own friends, just the way
you want them. You make them in your friend factory.

     Here is some more great news. In the friend
factory, you’re the boss. You get to make all of the rules. No one can tell you
what to do or how to behave. You’re the friend factory boss. You’re in charge.

     The things I’m going to tell you are
important secrets. Only the friend factory boss is allowed to know about them.
Please keep them to yourself. Please don’t tell anyone else.

     The first secret is this. Before you can
find the friend factory, you need to take a very deep breath. Did you take a
really big breath? Go ahead. Take a gigantic breath and blow it out. It’s just
like blowing out the candles on your birthday cake.

     Did you take a big breath and blow it out?
If so, you can use your imagination to find the friend factory. Where on Earth
do you think it is? Is it in the kitchen? If you walk into the kitchen, the
friend factory is there with you.

     Is the friend factory outside, near the
sidewalk? If you walk out the door and stand by the sidewalk, the friend
factory is there with you.

     When you go to school, is the friend
factory in your classroom? If you’re very quiet and look around slowly, you
will spot it. The friend factory is there with you.

     Maybe the friend factory is on the
playground. Imagine that you’re playing and having fun. Can you see yourself on
the playground? You’re feeling mighty fine. Stop and look around. The friend
factory is there with you.

     Woops, you’re not on the playground
anymore. Where did you go? You’re at Grandma’s house, eating homemade chocolate
chip cookies. Can you use your imagination to see yourself at Grandma’s house?
Are those the best cookies you ever had? Of course they are. Those are
Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies. They are the best cookies ever. Enjoy
your cookie and chew quietly. The friend factory is there with you.

     Do you know where the friend factory is?
Where on Earth is it? Let’s see if we can figure out where it is.

     The first place you went was the kitchen.
After that, you walked out the door and stood by the sidewalk. Later, you were
in your classroom. The next place you went was to the playground. You were even
at Grandma’s house, eating a chocolate chip cookie. Wherever you went, the
friend factory was there with you.

     How can that be true? Where on Earth is the
friend factory hiding? Maybe you have already figured it out by yourself.

     The friend factory is you. What do you
think about that? Did you know that you’re a friend factory? Just remember that
you’re the boss. The friend factory is there with you.

     Making friends is very complicated. Being
the boss of the friend factory is a big job. It’s easier to let someone else be
the boss. They can pick your friends for you. They can decide what you like to
do. How do you like that idea?

     What did you say? Did you say that you
don’t like that idea? Let me see if I have this right.

     You’re the boss. The friend factory belongs
to you. It’s your friend factory. You’re in charge.

     “I make my own friends. I decide what
I like to do. I don’t just do whatever other people want me to do. I’m the
friend factory boss.”

     Is that what you said? Did I get it right?

     Good for you. That is outstanding,
spectacular, and totally terrific. You’re definitely the right person to be the
friend factory boss. You’re also the right person to keep another secret. Lean
down close to the book so I can whisper. I don’t want anyone else to hear this.

     You hang around with your friends. You
don’t talk much with other people. You want to have more friends but you don’t
work on it. You’re still the boss but your friend factory is closed. It’s not
making friends anymore.

     Are you frowning at me? Are you trying to
tell me something?

     “My friend factory isn’t closed. I
like my friends but want to make new friends. I’m the boss. I decide if I want
to make new friends or not.”

     Okay, I hear you. You’re the boss. You
decide if you want to make new friends or not. Thank you for sharing that with
me. I like it when you speak up, say what you think, and let me know how you
feel about things.

     I’m happy that you’re the friend factory
boss. You’re in charge. You want to make new friends. I can tell that you have
what it takes. You say what you think. You tell people how you feel about
things. You decide about important stuff. You’re the kind of person I would
enjoy having as a friend. That’s why I wrote this book for you. You can keep a
secret. You have what it takes to be the friend factory boss.

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