Jeff Michael Ruby | The Children’s Book Review | November 28, 2017
Get to know Omar from Jeffrey Michael Ruby’s Penelope March is Melting, an icy-cold mystery adventure to warm your heart—perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library!
The Children’s Book Review: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Omar: Well, I’m a penguin and a military man, so I slide out of bed nice and early. Usually to go lift weights. Though if there’s wrestling on TV, I’ll watch it first. But then the weights. Gotta stay in shape. Feel these paddle muscles.
Yep! Definitely in shape.
I see you have a bag with you. Will you tell us what you keep inside of it?
This bag? I don’t know. Goggles, hair gel, some breath mints. You know, the usual penguin stuff. A picture of my girlfriend, Teresa. Wanna see?
Sure! … It looks like you were made for each other.
Are you hungry right now? Can we fix you anything to eat? Maybe we could make you your favorite dish?
I love squid. I mean, we all do, but it’s literally all I can think about. Sautéed, roasted, raw, whatever. Some admiral bet me I couldn’t eat 40 boiled squid in the mess hall the other day. I won 80 bucks. Got really sick, but it was totally worth it. Heck, I would’ve done it for free.
I’ll check and see if we have any in the kitchen when we are done with our chat.
Do you like to read?
Lately, I’ve been getting really into this series of fantasy books about cyborg seals. The Android Blubber series. You heard of it? Really great stuff.
I’ll have to look into that series when I’m done reading The Codfather books.
Do you have a favorite song?
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. Always gets me pumped up. I saw them live when they played Antarctica a few years back and they rocked so hard.
Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
As a naval man, I believe in following orders. But I like to mix it up in my spare time. My philosophy is: You gotta live and you gotta laugh. If that means I have to bend some rules, I will. I mean, I ate one of Penelope’s dream cookies when she wasn’t looking. But it was kind of gross.
When was the last time you felt embarrassed?
Well . . . I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but . . . oh, whatever. I tried out for Dancing With the Stars, and it was a disaster. They said my moves were fine, but I didn’t have the right look. That, and my dance partner kept accidentally punting me across the stage. So humiliating.
If you weren’t answering the questions in this interview right now, what would you be doing?
Probably playing poker with the guys and stuffing my face with squid.
Do you have any secrets you would like to share with us before you go?
I have a tattoo under the fur on my left flipper. But I can’t tell you what it says. No, I mean, literally, I can’t. I have no idea what it says. The tattoo artist kind of messed up. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Now might be a good time for me to go check the kitchen for that squid.
Written by Jeffrey Michael Ruby
Publisher’s Synopsis: Something sinister has come to Glacier Cove, an icy-cold town that sits on top of an iceberg. Nothing bad ever happens here. Until now. And it’s up to Penelope March to stop it.
Mmm-hmm, that Penelope—the bookworm who lives in the ramshackle house with her brother, Miles. The girl with the mom who—poof!—disappeared. The one everyone ignores . . . except strange Coral Wanamaker, a tiny thing with raven-black hair and a black coat.
When Penelope meets someone who seems to know secrets not only about Glacier Cove but about Penelope herself, she and Miles are pulled into an ancient mystery. Together, they’ll face the coldest, cruelest enemy ever known. Looks like the girl who only reads about adventures is going to start living one.
Magic cookies! Volcanoes! Penguins! Sea monsters! And a girl hero with the strength and imagination to spring into action.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1524718282
About the Author
Jeffrey Michael Ruby is the chief dining critic of Chicago magazine. He is the coauthor of Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America’s Favorite Food, and has also played college basketball in Ireland, assisted in an autopsy, and sumo wrestled in front of 20,000 people in New Jersey. He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children. Penelope March Is Melting is his first novel. Visit Jeffrey at jeffrubymedia.com, @dropkickjeffy on Twitter, and instagram.com/dropkickjeffy.
This interview with Omar, a character in Jeffrey Michael Ruby’s Penelope March is Melting, was conducted between Jeff Michael Ruby and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Character Development, Character Interviews, Adventure, Magic, Mystery, Penguins, Sea Monster Books, and Strong Female Characters.
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