Eleven-year-old Gem has traveled from his home planet of Topha to meet with ten extraordinary children, all sixteen and under. These children have been given the RJ Conte label of “Preciously Precocious” and are heroes of their own stories.
Gem, future possible savior of his fragile planet, is prepping to take on the planet’s core with the power of his mind. For motivation, he’s interviewing child heroes.
And now for the final installment of interviews! And make sure you check out each of their amazing stories – all of which are on Amazon – including Gem’s!
- Fontana “Footer” Davis, 11 years old, of Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught
Gem: Do you prefer English or math?
Footer: I prefer anything Ms. Perry doesn’t teach. I really like English because Ms. Malone teaches it, and she gets me, you know? She didn’t even make me go to the office over that serial killer book.
Gem: (laughs) I get you there. Some of my supervisors’ minds are really awful and unkind places (I have telepathy). I prefer Soleil in every way.
Okay, you get a dingbat as a pet. What do you name it?
Footer: What’s a dingbat?
Gem: Anything you want it to be. A fictional pet. (grins)
Footer: If it’s anything like a walrus, don’t get it near me. Seriously. Walruses are creepy. If it looks like a kitty, I’d call her Dorothy for Dorothy Thompson, who was like the bravest, coolest journalist in history. I think I’ll be an investigative journalist. I like investigating stuff, and I plan to find these two kids who went missing from the farm behind my house.
Gem: (cheers) Go Footer! So what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Footer: I do a lot of brave things, like clean snake guts off bird feeders, look at pictures of walruses, and try to keep my friend Peavine’s little sister Angel from stealing all my books (she’s plotting my murder, no doubt), and show up in 5th period every day even though Ms. Perry is there (probably plotting my murder too).
Gem: (laughing harder) How you feel about walruses is how I feel about sloths. (shudder) Thanks, Footer! Stay alive! 🙂
Footer Davis is on the case when two kids go missing after a fire in this humorously honest novel that is full of Southern style.
Here are some things that are true about Footer Davis:
1. She has a BB gun named Louise.
2. Walruses freak her out.
3. Her mom has bipolar disorder.
But she wants you to know that it’s not that big a deal. She’s just Mom, and usually she’s fine except sometimes when she doesn’t take her pills. But right now what’s most important to Footer is what happened to those kids at the Abrams farm. See, there was a fire there a few nights ago, and those kids haven’t been seen since. Pretty sure they got burned up. What Footer and Peavine—that’s her best friend—want to know is who started the fire?
2. Blondelle “Blondie” McGhee, 9 years old, from Blondie McGhee: At Your Service by Ashley Eneriz
Gem: What do you believe about love?
Blondie: I really love being a detective, and I really love my dachshunds (a.k.a. wiener dogs), Emma and George – although George can be a pain in the behind most of the time! He has helped me solve several cases.
Gem: I wish I had a pet! So who do you get along better with: your mom or dad?
Blondie: Hmmm… That’s a tricky one. Both of my parents are pretty cool, but I am still on cloud nine from when my dad put together the most awesome surprise with clues.
Gem: I miss my parents. That’s really cool. So what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Blondie: Go into my school attic when some other girls told me it was haunted. I was scared of running into a ghost – or even worse, the principal – but I had no idea what kind of adventure I was really about to be in!
Gem: Now I want to know!
Got a crime?
Need a professional detective?
You’ve come to the right girl.
Blondie’s the name and solving cases at Graham Elementary is my game.
I promised I would never, ever solve a case for that meanie, Owen Thomas, but when he is accused of starting the crazy food fight and is about to be expelled, I am his only hope.
Can I wipe his name clean of mashed potatoes before the principal expels Owen for good?
3. Ruby Graves, 13 years old, from Healing Ruby by Jennifer H. Westall
Gem: Do you ever have a dream while you’re sleeping that makes you not want to wake up?
Ruby: Sometimes I dream about being with my daddy. He was strong and good to me, and I miss him like crazy. I dream I’m sitting at his feet again in front of the fire, listening to his deep voice read his Bible before breakfast. I wake from those dreams with a sad kind of joy, missing him so much, but knowing I’ll see him again someday.
Gem: I wish I could’ve met your dad. So, on a less sad note… who’s the most irritating person in your life? (laughs)
Ruby: I swear, I can’t pick just one. My brother Henry loves to pick on me, and I could just punch him in the mouth sometimes. But my oldest brother James might be even worse. At least Henry plays with me and makes me laugh. Ever since Daddy died, James acts like I’m a burden he has to carry to Timbuktu and back twice a day. Why, he even tried to marry me off just to get rid of me!
Gem: Wow. Maybe I’m glad now I never had brothers! So what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Ruby: I don’t see myself as brave. It just seems like there are times when God calls me to act, and doing so puts me in the middle of a storm, sometimes literally. I’ve learned to trust Him, even if it means running headlong into the storm, because He is in the storm. Nahum 1:3 says, “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in the whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” I don’t know why He calls me, I just know I have to obey. I’m not brave. I just choose to trust Him.
Gem: You have amazing faith, Ruby. I needed that. Thank you!
Ruby Graves, a young girl in Depression-era Alabama, faces the hardships of poverty and loss with as much faith as she can muster. At only the age of thirteen, she’s already lost a younger brother to illness, and now faces losing both her father and the boy who’s stealing her heart to illnesses as well. Armed with her beloved Scriptures, she prays daily for their healing, only to have her tender faith shattered by her father’s death. Through her pain, she’s able to connect with her long-lost Uncle Asa, who’s mere presence at his brother’s funeral brings murmurs of a scandalous past involving her parents and a prominent local pastor, Irwin Cass. When Ruby discovers that one of Asa’s many secrets is an ability to heal, and that she may be next in line for the “gift,” she vows to find the faith that has eluded her so far, a faith that could mean never losing loved ones again. But faith and doubt can’t reside in the same heart, not according to her father, and doubt is Ruby’s constant companion. As she struggles to find the true meaning of faith, she’s opposed at every turn by the pastor who would see her family destroyed and a community that can’t see deeper than the color of one’s skin. Through her search for a faith that could move mountains and a true understanding of her gift, can Ruby trust in a God that may require the ultimate sacrifice?
4. Chad Burnhill, 16 years old, from Angel-Lover by RJ Conte
Gem: Hey Chad! So I’m an INTP. What’s your Myers-Briggs type?
Chad: Hey. So that’s a really interesting question. For a long time, I was convinced I was an INFJ. I think I have two very strong J parents – workaholics, driven people. But in reality, I found out recently I’m actually INFP. It explains a bunch, including my depression and artistic creativity.
Gem: So we’re close in type, except you’re the mushy emotional version of me, eh? Okay, feeler, tell us a secret you’ve never told another soul.
Chad: Oh great. Now I’m going to feed into your perception that I’m a soft feely guy… I’m in love with Angelique Rose – this angel at my school. She’s not a literal angel, I don’t think… I mean, she sure looks like one with the blond curls and all… (coughs ) Something’s seriously different about her, and I’m going to figure it out.
Gem: Blondes, eh? I hear you on that one. (winks) What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Chad: Stepped foot in this mega church in my area. Walking into one of those religious places was absolutely terrifying. Then coming clean to my parents about what I thought later… Whew. I have a feeling I’m going to have to be really brave about some other things too because I have a feeling all’s not right in Angelique’s world…
Gem: Stay strong, man! We’re rooting for you!
Chad is a reclusive teenager whose thoughts are full of loneliness and suicide. The only thing that he obsesses over more than planning his own death is the nicest, sweetest, most beautiful girl in school. As he stalks her and watches her, he learns the truth about what she believes in and, in the process, finds Someone Else he did not expect.