On her 10th birthday, Aleca Zamm discovers she can stop time.After some nasty bullying and a frame job by the class mean girl, a teacher’s pet, Aleca’s asked by the principal for her name. When she says it, time freezes; saying it again unfreezes time. What’s this newfound ability good for? Chaos! Aside from taking a peek at an upcoming math quiz (she has a bit of test anxiety), she has fun setting up a humiliating tableau for her tormenters and then restarting time. Her wish fulfillment continues as she experiments with her ability before her orange-haired great-aunt arrives—because of Aleca. Aleca, like Aunt Zephyr, is a Wonder: one who gains a power upon turning 10. It skips a generation in the Zamm family and has caused lots of misery to some (a mind reader was forced to become a hermit, and her grandfather could talk to animals, but they would never leave him alone). Zephyr can help. Wonders are immune to one another’s abilities, and Aunt Zephyr warns that someone could be looking for them….Aleca’s ability is likely to provoke both envy and thought on the part of readers, though some flourishes, such as her little dances while time’s stopped, feel arbitrary. Aleca’s white, and her best friend is a bilingual Spanish speaker, but most characters lack physical descriptions and racial or ethnic markers. A fast, fun origin story with appealing wish fulfillment. (Fantasy. 7-10)


Gr 6-9 A well-paced sequel to Rock n Roll Rebel. The girl band Pandora s Box is back together and experiencing growing pains. Tig s cousin Kyra is not pulling her weight as a musician, which may or may not be the result of her parents divorce. Tig has to navigate the dynamics of friends and family as she eventually decides to kick Kyra out of the band. To add to the middle school drama, a new girl from another school has taken Kyra s place, changing the band, and another band member is dating the boy Tig likes. Rue handles all of this angst adeptly and thoughtfully without being preachy. Tig grows as the band s leader and as a person as she befriends a former enemy, makes new friends, and finds her first love. VERDICT A strong choice for middle schoolers who are not quite ready for YA. Sarah Wilsman, Bainbridge Library, Chagrin Falls, OH –School Library Journal


From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—This novel chronicles Tig Ripley’s quest to start an all-girl rock band named Pandora’s Box. The 13-year-old protagonist does not play an instrument, and she’s been brought up with Southern good manners. In spite of these obstacles, Tig wants to be the band’s drummer and leader. The narrative is slow to start as Rue establishes the band members’ recruitment and skill set, but once the band forms, the book’s pace picks up and readers are drawn into a story that has plenty of girl drama and social angst but very little actual rebellion. The message of finding individuality in middle school is a positive one, and Tig is a flawed but likable narrator. VERDICT For fans who are ready to graduate from Megan McDonald’s “Judy Moody” and Charise Mericle Harper’s “Just Grace” but aren’t quite ready for YA fiction.—Sarah Wilsman, Bainbridge Library, Chagrin Falls, OH

Tig Ripley: Rock n Roll Rebel is about a girl named Tig who decides to start a rock band with her friends. She starts taking drum lessons and also asks her cousin Kyra to play the bass, gets their friend Olivia to join them on the keyboard, and gets their friend Robbie to play the guitar. Kyra also invites Hayley to be the lead singer, and then everything goes haywire. Haley turns out to be a bad singer and is way too bossy and doesn t think about the rest of the band. After new auditions for a new lead singer, they eventually get the band back together again with Claire, who just moved from the U.K. At the end, the band gets an amazing chance to make an advertisement with her uncle s company! This was an awesome book, and I really loved reading it because I am very into music. When I started reading it I was so intrigued that I couldn t put it down. I hope you will feel the same way! The book totally made me want to start my own band, and I think that lots of girls ten and up would love reading this book as well! – Hannah, age 9 –Kids Bookbuzz


Review, Booklist, September 1, 2010:
“…humorous and engaging…”Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2010:
“Brinkley’s journey of personal transformation will linger with readers endeavoring to define themselves.”

Boy…books like this really remind you of exactly what a pain in the behind high school really, really was.  But the author has done a FANtastic job of adding humor, life lessons, sarcasm, wit, and a whole lotta’ fun to this extremely well-written novel.

We begin our story with one of those girls.  You know the ones…the perfect girls in school who, quite frankly, were the end all and be all of popularity.  In this novel we meet Brinkley Harper – the Miss Perfect of Story High.  Now, Story High School is one of those places that cater to the rich and privileged children of society.  Of course, they do offer a few spots to the poor in order to show their socio-economic diversity.  But Brinkley Harper’s father bought and paid for the school’s new auditorium, so she can pretty much do anything she wants inside those hallowed halls.

Of course, she did do something a little wrong, and in order to make sure that she doesn’t get expelled from one of the finest schools with the best reputations, she is sent to a counselor who she must talk to, vent all her frustrations on, etc., in order to be allowed to continue at Story High.  The counselor, however, isn’t falling for the sarcasm of this young girl; she also refuses to sign the pass that will allow Brinkley to sweep her bad attitude under the carpet and, once again, get away with her sins.  In fact, the counselor wants to know why four students have left the school suffering from depression, eating disorders, and more at the hands of Ms. Popular.

Brinkley is completely and utterly fed-up over this ridiculousness and, frankly, can’t stand the fact that she can’t seem to get out of this punishment when they should be treating her like the princess that she is.  But the counselor isn’t all she needs to think about.  One morning, when she wakes up in the body of a fellow student – a Goth girl named Miranda – Brinkley is scared to death that she’s gone absolutely insane.

This is a fantastic story that takes a girl so used to getting everything she wants, and places her in other peoples’ bodies – people who have to work, scrape, and deal with horrific issues at a very young age.  It not only teaches Brinkley Harper a lesson, but the twists and turns of how she learns her lessons, finds her heart, and seeks redemption for the atrocities she’s caused others around her, makes for a really remarkable story.

This author has done a fantastic job of allowing people to see what they look like through other peoples’ eyes, and it is a fun, charming, incredible story that will be a favorite among YA’s.  Not only will they enjoy the characters, but the lesson taught is something everyone should learn.  Bravo!


“One of the eternal mysteries of middle school is the question of popularity: What makes one child popular while another is not? This fizzy, fun novel offers a clever, albeit tongue-in-cheek, answer: marketing. The plot centers on Emily Wood, a sympathetic eighth-grade girl who becomes an instant outcast after angering the ruling clique. Although a picked-on persona non grata, Emily is smart and resourceful, and after accidentally stumbling upon some secret information about a rising young star, she manages to get his PR agency to take her on. Her PR agent works to change her image from Emily, pariah and self-named poetry geek, into Brand Em, the girl everybody wants to be. It’s a smart premise, and besides having something pertinent to say about kindness, hubris and the perils of popularity, Rue also imparts insight into how celebrities are designed and marketed. But like any good sales campaign, the material is so enjoyable that readers might not even notice that they’ve learned something.”
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2009

“Definitely be careful what you wish for – that’s the message that starts to form as Emily seizes the opportunity to recreate herself as Em, trendsetter, girlfriend of a teen heartthrob, and aspiring queen of the 8th grade heap. With a powerful p.r. firm working the angles for her, Em seems destined for greatness. Her transformation surprises everyone, and when those changes start to affect Em’s soul, she questions not only her motivation but the loyalties of her new friends. Rue captures all the insecurities and nastiness of middle school cliques but doesn’t let us forget that though ultimately, nice girls might not win all the prizes, the ones that they do count for the most – the sweet guy, the proud dad, the real best friend.”
—Dodie Ownes,

“Ginger Rue’s Brand New Emily succinctly captures what it means to be a young girl trying to navigate her way through the complicated jungle known as middle school. Without resorting to cliches, Rue offers a fresh take on the fish out of water concept. Brand New Emily is completely charming and highly readable, a book that readers of all ages will enjoy.”
Jae-Ha Kim, author and celebrity journalist

“Ginger has created an intensely likable character in Emily-I could totally empathize with her actions and foibles as she tried to navigate the murky waters of popularity. A great read!”
Anne Dayton, co-author of Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

“Ginger Rue’s smart, cautionary tale, Brand-New Emily, is told to us with a shrewd eye to the details of a young adolescent girl’s life. For any teenage girl who has ever had second thoughts about how to handle her social life, whether she is the ‘it’ girl , the object of the ‘it’ girl’s dissatisfaction, or simply plugging along during this awkward stage, this book is a must read, a lesson to us all.”
Susan Shapiro Barash, author of Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie

“A fast-paced, often hilarious peek into how celebrities are created. A great read for any girl who’s ever dreamed of being on the A-List.”
—Celebrity publicist Lori Glass Berk, LGB Public Relations

“A fun, compelling story with a strong message about the psychology of bullies and their victims.  If your daughter or niece has ever been the target of a mean clique, hand her a copy of Brand-New Emily.”
Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Brand-New Emily is a charming story about a girl who hires a PR firm to tweak her image and popularity.  With a deft execution, Ms Rue has concocted a story with a clever premise and empathetic heroine that teens and pre-teens will identify with and embrace as one of their own.”
Lurlene McDaniel, author of Breathless