This is one of my favorite pictures from the book, illustrated by former student Tarryn. In this one, Xavier wonders if the entire universe has stuffed papers in his desk. Isn’t it great?
Excerpt from the book:
Xavier’s desk hadn’t always contained a desk monster. On the first day of school, it was just like everyone else’s. Before long, though, Xavier’s desk began to collect paper. And every day it got worse. The day disaster finally struck started like any other fifth grade school day for Xavier. He took his books and homework out of his backpack and pushed the pack under his chair. His textbooks sprawled on the floor. He hung his jacket over one book that stuck out of his desk.
“Xavier,” said his teacher with a smile, “you really need to stay organized.”
Xavier suspected Priya of stashing her papers in his desk.
One morning, just as Xavier cleared his desk, the teacher passed back yesterday’s graded grammar homework and math tests.
“Incoming!” said Quan, and a new lunch menu dive-bombed his desk.
“Here comes more work,” Tommy announced, tossing Xavier blank worksheets for the reading lesson.
“Put your papers in color-coded sections of your binder,” Priya said as she snapped a pink PTA newsletter into the green section.
Overwhelmed, Xavier peered into his desk, searching for hidden spaces to stuff. Big yellow eyes looked back at him. Xavier gasped and sat up. Class continued normally around him. He knew it was a desk monster, and he knew it was his fault it had come. Desk monsters loved to snuggle up with lots of paper. And it was almost impossible to get rid of a desk monster once it moved in. Xavier crammed the bundle of papers into his desk and tried to look innocent. Luring a desk monster to class was a Serious Thing.