Quest of the Ungnome
Thirteen-year-old Al would do anything to get the King of the School Bullies off of his back. (literally) So when Beano Smartbottom, a (smartmouth) garden gnome comes to life in Al’s long-lost grandfather’s backyard and offers him a solution for his bullyboy problem, Al jumps at the chance. All he has to do is help Beano free his friend from jail.
Yeah, right…Al knows nothing about prison breaks. He’s never even gotten detention, but suddenly, he’s plunged into a magical, sometimes, scary world, where gnomes disappear during danger (thanks, Beano), and his grandfather is a Hobgoblin captive. Beano’s world is full of magic, and not the Abracadabra kind on TV— it’s D-E-A-D-L-Y!
Al uses his brain, his skateboarding skills, and a little magic of his own (his phone) to battle Goblin Warriors, duck a Gypsy King’s poison-tipped daggers, and outsmart a shape-shifting Merwitch (beware old ladies with fish breath). When Al learns the bullies back home pick on his friends since he’s gone, he’s desperate to save them, but can’t return until he saves the life of his new friend, Charlie, (a princess disguised as a boy archer) and the rightful heir of the realm’s magic. Beano never said finding Al’s courage would be easy, but when Hero is your last name, everyone believes that’s what you are.
Because she taught both young adults and preschoolers, her books fall at both ends of the Children’s Literature spectrum. When she writes picture books, she thinks in rhyme. First, ROCK STAR SANTA. And now, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? When Gayle writes novels for middle grades and teens, her stories are either fantasy or historical fiction. Her YA urban fantasy, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper, is a retelling of The Pied Piper set in a dystopian future with global warming, and Twice Betrayed, her middle grade historical fiction, highlights the legend of the first American flag and spies.
Gayle is most comfortable in front of students, be they four years old, or forty. She loves to teach Children’s Literature and enhance literacy skills in young readers. She is a member of SCBWI, Keystone State Reading Association, KidLit, Ink, a marketing group for published children’s authors, and a past member of The Poets’ Garage.
Gayle lives in a cliffside house in the Poconos that overlooks Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, where she can still find a fossil or two, if she hikes the mountain behind her home.