The Children’s Book Review | August 1, 2018
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe The Legend of Greg: An Epic Series of Failures?
Chris Rylander: Pessimism, Optimism, Friendship, Meat, Beards
Can you share a highlight from the book? Your thoughts on, or an excerpt of, your favorite sentence, paragraph, or page?
“Steel-cut oats spilled all over him as he slumped to the floor.”
I don’t think this needs any further explanation. Definitely the best sentence I’ve ever written or spoken.
If you had to take a vacation with one of the characters from The Legend of Greg, who would it be? Why?
Edwin for sure. Because he’s super rich and generous enough to go anywhere and pay for it all. And he’s nice (as long he doesn’t think you harmed his family), easy to get along with, and likes to have fun.
What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?
My wife started reading the book and then got just a few pages in, to the part where Greg references the Souper Bowl (i.e. a toilet in a middle school bathroom that hasn’t been flushed in decades.) Then she calmly put the book down and said (while rolling her eyes dramatically), “Gross, Chris. You’re gross.”
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
I always have a book or two on my nightstand. Right now it’s Challenger Deep by Neil Shusterman and The Adjacent by Christopher Priest. Plus, there’s also a few cough drops.
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
Coffee or tea, but usually coffee. In fact, I drink so much coffee every day that my tears are brown.
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Computer. And my dogs. I put them on a huge keyboard and throw treats around and somehow books happen. It’s really spectacular to watch them work.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about The Legend of Greg, your writing style, or yourself?
Because it’s Shark Week, I’ll go with how my original dream in life was to be a shark scientist of some sort. I’m obsessed with sharks. I have three shark tattoos, a huge shark print in my office, have watched every shark week program for the last fifteen years, and my next life goal is to swim with Great White sharks in a cage. Which is why it’s so sad I’ve never managed to get a shark into one of my books. Maybe in book three of An Epic Series of Failure, which is for now tentatively titled The Feast of Greg: Jaw’s Revenge.
Written by Chris Rylander
A boy discovers his destiny could totally stink in this riotously funny fantasy-adventure.
Risk-averse Greg Belmont is content with being ordinary. He’s got a friend–that’s right, just one–at his fancy prep school, and a pretty cool dad (even if he is obsessed with organic soaps that smell like a mix of salted pork and Icelandic bog). The problem is, Greg isn’t ordinary . . . he’s actually an honest-to-goodness, fantastical Dwarf!
He discovers the truth the day his dad brings home a gross new tea–one that awakens bizarre abilities in Greg. Then a murderous Bro-Troll kidnaps his dad and Greg is whisked away to the Underground, where Dwarves have lived for centuries right beneath the streets of Chicago.
With the help of some awesome new friends and a talking ax, Greg learns all about the history of the Dwarves, which has been marked with tales of epic failure since the dawn of time. However, the return of the magic they once wielded means big changes are afoot, escalating tensions with the Dwarves’ sworn enemy: the Elves.
Brimming with humor and action, Chris Rylander’s The Legend of Greg turns dwarf lore on its head, delivering an adventure readers won’t be able to resist.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1524739720
About the Author
Chris Rylander is the author of the Fourth Stall saga and the Codename Conspiracy series. A fan of chocolate, chips, and chocolate chips, he lives in Chicago.
This speed interview with Chris Rylander, author of The Legend of Greg: An Epic Series of Failures, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Adventure, Fantasy, Humorous Books, Middle Grade Books, and School.
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