Aunt Ruth: The Queen of English and Her Reign of Error
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About the Author
"Nobody is better than Joel Schnoor when it comes to presenting grammar dressed up to have fun."
-- Richard Lederer, author of Anguished English
"An answer to the prayers of English teachers!"
Joel Schnoor's Aunt Ruth: The Queen of English and Her Reign of Error is truly a language lover's delight. Joel may have been prompted to write the book in the belief that, metaphorically speaking, "The integrity of our language is crumbling; the foundation of our Grammar Castle is being undermined by giant serpents of ignorance."
Following the format of his first book, I Laid an Egg on Aunt Ruth's Head, each chapter deals with one or more glaring errors in English grammar, usage, or mechanics--errors that make a language teacher's hair stand on end and make the book's author grab his laptop and add another tale to his hilariously entertaining Aunt Ruth stories.
Masterfully written in Joel's comfortable, easy-to-read style, the book combines practical examples, humor, creative description, and figurative language to produce memorable passages, characters or scenes: "he looked like an overweight Charlie Chaplin doing a poor imitation of a constipated hula dancer demonstrating the Macarena," or "her jowls were flapping in the air like a basset hound driving a convertible through a wind tunnel."
Aunt Ruth: The Queen ... will be enjoyed by those pleasure-reading grammar gurus interested in recognizing and avoiding the pitfalls of language abuse. The book is also an answer to the prayers of English teachers looking for a new creative approach to helping students use troublesome aspects of language in correct, effective communication. As the narrator says to Bill the Grammar Fairy, "Please call it [the book] a grammar story, not a grammar lesson. We don't want the reader suspecting that he or she may be both enjoying the story and learning grammar concurrently.
Because of its episodic structure, where Aunt Ruth's character changes by chapter from race car driver to safari hunter to mountain climber to time traveler to ..., and the language lessons vary from sentence fragments to verb tense to modifiers, to pronouns, to commas, to figures of speech to ..., the forty-five short, zany, adventure-filled chapters can be included, omitted, or presented in any order the teacher chooses to best meet the specific abilities or needs of his or her students.
If you chuckled as you read I Laid an Egg on Aunt Ruth's Head, you will howl as you read Aunt Ruth: The Queen of English and Her Reign of Error. It's another five-star accomplishment of a proven author. And it leaves the reader anxiously awaiting Joel's next release.
--Jerry Laffey, English teacher, National Federation Outstanding Interscholastic Speech and Debate Award for Iowa, I.H.S.S.A. Hall of Fame
"So much here to love!"
"Rambunctious Aunt Ruth and her notable nephew are delightful! Their inherent individual charm as characters makes for a good read even if you don't need new grammatical insight. But Mr. Schnoor knows well that when the indomitable spirit meets the intellectual perfectionist, there is context for the kind of witty conversation that makes those slippery points of English grammar stick a whole lot better. So much here to love!"
--Kristi Eskelund, English teacher, storyteller, and grammar enthusiast