The Children’s Book Review | January 26, 2018
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe the Aleca Zamm series?
Ginger Rue: Fun, funny, Wonder-full, satisfying, suspenseful
If you had to take a vacation with one of the characters from Aleca Zamm, who would it be? Why?
Aunt Zephyr would make traveling extremely cost-effective since she can teleport, and she’d probably also have a lot of good stories. She might nag me about my posture, though, so I guess I’d go instead with Aleca herself because she’s always up for anything.
What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?
I just heard from a mom in Germany whose daughter did her book report on the first Aleca book. I wish I could’ve gotten a video of that presentation, if only to enjoy listening to someone speak about the book in German! But I guess my favorite reactions have been from my own children and my husband, who were my test readers and absolutely loved the books, and my nieces and nephews, who gave me a lot of positive feedback. One of my sisters-in-law read it aloud to my then-six-year-old nephew, without telling him Aunt Ginger had written it. I asked him what he thought of the book, and he said, “It was really good, even though it was about a girl.” I loved that!
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
I’m currently reading a short story collection by Mary Ward Brown and a nonfiction about human suffering. I probably need to add some levity to the mix pretty soon!
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
If it’s an either/or choice, sugar! I’ve gotten to where I chew sugarless gum when I work because I have a tendency to grind my teeth otherwise. I rarely ever drink anything but water, but if I have coffee or tea, it’s “baby coffee” or “sweet tea.” Wow…I feel like I just had a pretty big epiphany about my sugar intake, so it’s probably good that you asked!
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Sometimes I’ll jot down ideas with pen and paper, but I prefer writing a manuscript on the computer. Thanks to a year-long high school typing class my mom forced me to take (Thanks, Mom!), I now type like the wind, so typing helps me keep pace with my thoughts.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about the Aleca Zamm series, your writing style, or yourself?
I based Aunt Zephyr on my tough-as-nails but tiny twelfth-grade English teacher and on the women in my family (my mom and Aunt Betty especially). I had a great aunt named Zelpher, but all the people in my family are from Mississippi and Alabama, where words are seldom pronounced as spelled, so everyone pronounced it Zephyr. I thought it was the coolest thing that I had an aunt named after the west wind…I mean, how mysterious can you get? I was so disappointed when I found out that wasn’t actually her name!
Writing this series has been so much fun for me because Amy, my editor, actually thinks I’m funny. Most of the time, especially when I write for magazines, all these little asides that I think are hilarious are quickly edited out, but Amy sends me notes saying, “Can you put in more funny stuff like this?” My teenage children are always groaning at my goofball jokes, so they are probably like, “Don’t encourage her!”
Written by Ginger Rue
Publisher’s Synopsis: Aleca Zamm, an ordinary ten-year-old with an extraordinary talent, finds a new friend and has to rescue her Aunt Zephyr from a teleportation crisis in this hilarious third novel in the Aleca Zamm chapter book series.
Aleca Zamm knows she’s not the only Wonder at school with a magical ability. Third grader Ford Kimble is a Wonder as well. Ford is able to see people as they used to be in the past and as they will be in the future. He can time travel! Well, sort of!
Aleca starts hanging out with Ford to discuss their magical abilities, which makes Aleca’s best friend, Maria, jealous. Aleca even forgot the first meeting of the Secret Pals Club, Maria and Aleca’s new idea for a club that performs secret good deeds for bullied kids!
Worse, Maria is onto Aleca’s secret of being a Wonder. She definitely suspects something, but Aleca has sworn to Aunt Zephyr that she won’t tell anyone about her magical ability. Plus, Aunt Zephyr’s ability to teleport is starting to deteriorate along with her age, and Aunt Zephyr’s about to throw in the towel on being a Wonder for good. Can Aleca and Ford figure out how to get Aunt Zephyr’s magical powers back? And can Aleca save her friendship with Maria while still keeping her magical powers a secret?
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Aladdin | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1481470667
About The Author
Ginger Rue is the author of the middle grade Tig Ripley and Aleca Zamm novels, as well as Brand-New Emily and Jump. She lives in Alabama.
This speed interview with Ginger Rue, author of Aleca Zamm Fools Them All, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Humorous Books, Magic, Middle Grade Books, and Speed Interview.
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