Ruby Lee and the Very Big Deal (Paperback)
Ruby Lee has a problem. A very BIG problem. She has won a so-called "prize" in her school: to read her essay in front of her entire smallish town. Except that Ruby has a bad case of stage fright. Help comes in the guise of her eccentric Great Aunt Alice, who may-or may not-have been a starlet in the golden age of film. Great Aunt Alice floats between two worlds: day-to-day reality, and a world of memory (or fantasy) in which she hobnobbed with the likes of Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, John Barrymore and Vivien Leigh. Her colorful stories-of helping Barrymore prepare for a role, teaching Bogart to whistle, pulling Brando out of bed to audition for The Godfather-will entertain and delight readers of all ages. What's more, each of Alice's tales contains one of her nine "secrets to becoming a star." These secrets, which unfold as Ruby prepares for her speech, ensure that she shines when the big day comes, her fear of public speaking now just a memory. The two come to appreciate each other-and readers come away with down-to-earth, effective public speaking tips.