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For Immediate Release
Contact Gail Kearns
805-570-8275 or gail@topressandbeyond.com

Forensic Biologist Dr. Ruth (Ruthy) Ballard
Pens New Book That Lures Kids into Science

Ruthy Ballard is a scientist-turned-author who is passionate about building scientific literacy in kids. A professor by day, she writes her Tales by Moons-light series of books by night, teaching science through stories that lure even the most science-shy middle grade readers.

(Sacramento, CA, April 10, 2020) Ballard’s latest creation, Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy (WhipSmart Books, September 1, 2020, ISBN: 978-0-9978532-7-8, $12.95, www.WhipsmartBooks.com), takes kids on an exciting romp to the far side of the galaxy while empowering them to navigate, thrive, and lead in a rapidly changing world. She believes that children need science to solve the global problems we face, and that it’s time for “all hands-on board,” including kids who think science isn’t for them.

“When I was a child,” Ruthy says, “I thought science was for geeks who whizzed through their math homework, and that definitely wasn’t me. But I was curious about my world and wildly creative, two of the very qualities that make a good scientist. I wish I’d had a mentor to tell me that before I floundered for years to find my path.”

Ballard’s books are designed to reach children when their minds are still open and show them how fun, exciting, and inclusive science really is. In Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy, the ten-year-old protagonist disappears through a crack in his bedroom ceiling and finds himself on a faraway planet called Urth. There, he embarks on a mind-blowing adventure under the light of Urth’s two moons, while back home his parents think he’s been abducted, and an innocent man is charged with the “crime.” Throughout the story, the author plays with words and ideas,
creating a thrilling fantasy world where enormous tides rule the day and an
exciting courtroom drama plays out, pivoting on forensic DNA evidence.

For more information, visit www.whipsmartbooks.com

Review Copies and Media Interviews: For a review copy of Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy or an interview with the author, please contact publicist Gail Kearns at 805-570-8275 or email gail@topressandbeyond.com

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About the Author: Ruthy Ballard is a children’s book author, artist, and scientist who lives in Sacramento, California. By day, she’s “Dr. Ruth Ballard,” a professor and forensic DNA expert. By night, she romps in an imaginative playground of colors and words. Ruthy is the author of Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy and Tales by Moons-Light: Stories from Before the Great Melt. She is currently working on the third book in her Tales by Moons-light series: Elvia and the Gift of Passion. Her entertaining stories lure middle grade readers into science, but her creative ventures don’t stop there. She’s also a folk artist whose colorful “cartoons” delight and inspire both children and adults. Ruthy is married to a musician and is the mother of two sons, three cats, and a Samoyed dog named Mush, all of whom appear in her work, in various guises, from time to time.

About the Book: Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy is a lighthearted adventure story written for middle grade children by scientist-turned-author Dr. Ruth (Ruthy) Ballard. Aimed at building scientific literacy in kids by sparking their natural curiosity and imagination, it takes its readers on a thrilling romp to a two-mooned planet on the other side of the galaxy, while captivating them with a forensic DNA backstory that unfolds on Earth. Well off the beaten path, this unique book interweaves real science with rich fantasy, offering parents and other educators a powerful tool for helping kids untwist the two. As readers get wrapped up in the hero’s journey of a ten-year-old boy, who finds a way to escape the stifling shadow of his parents and emerge into a future of his own choosing, they’re secretly empowered to survive, thrive, and lead in a rapidly changing world.

Current Projects and Upcoming Releases: Ruthy Ballard’s next science-rich book, Tales by Moons-Light: Stories from Before the Great Melt, will launch in February 2021. She is also working on a third book, in her Tales by Moons-light series, Elvia and the Gift of Passion, which is slated for publication in the fall of 2021.

Contact Information

Publisher Contact

WhipSmart Books
5008 T Street
Sacramento, CA 95819
Phone: (916) 835-3757
Email: info@whipsmartbooks.com
Website: www.whipsmartbooks.com

Publicity Contact

Gail M. Kearns
Phone: (805) 898-2263
Email: gail@topressandbeyond.com
Website: www.topressandbeyond.com

Book Descriptions

Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy

To be released Fall 2020

25-word description

A thrilling, science-rich adventure story that takes its middle grade readers on an entertaining romp to the other side of the galaxy.

50-word description

Frankie Russo has a wild and wonderful imagination, but his nagging, ambitious parents don’t appreciate it. All that changes, though, when he disappears through a crack in his bedroom ceiling and find himself on a faraway two-mooned planet called Urth. A thrilling, science-rich, entertaining romp for middle grade readers!

200-word description

Frankie Russo doesn’t brood about the past or worry about the future. He lives in the present moment, frolicking in a world of make-believe that drives his high-achieving parents crazy. They have lofty ambitions for him, but Frankie has no interest. He prefers to flip helium burgers on Jupiter or rule a kingdom of mermen in the Caspian Sea, up inside his head, where all the fun is.

Frankie’s parents nag him endlessly, worried he’ll come to nothing. But all that changes when he disappears through a mysterious crack in his bedroom ceiling and finds himself on a distant, two-mooned planet called Urth.

Why was he drawn there? He doesn’t know, but as he embarks on a delightful, mind-blowing adventure, Frankie’s desperate parents think he’s been abducted, and an innocent man is arrested and charged with the crime!

On the surface, Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy is a lighthearted science-rich adventure story that takes its middle grade readers on an entertaining romp to the other side of the galaxy. But the undercurrent is one of discovery and redemption, where a ten-year-old boy, through an unexpected journey, finds a way to escape his parent’s stifling shadow and emerge into a future of his own choosing.

Frankie-and-the-gift-of-fantasy-cover

Author Bios

Ruthy Ballard

30 words

Ruthy Ballard is a scientist by day and an author and artist by night. Her latest creation is Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy, a novel for middle grade readers.

49 words

Ruthy Ballard is a children’s book author, artist, and scientist. By day, she’s a professor and forensic DNA expert. By night, she romps in an imaginative playground of color and words. Her latest creation is Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy, a science-rich adventure story for middle grade readers.

146 words

Ruthy Ballard is a children’s book author, artist, and scientist who lives in Sacramento, California. By day, she’s “Dr. Ruth Ballard,” a professor and forensic DNA expert. By night, she romps in an imaginative playground of colors and words.

Ruthy is the author of Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy and Tales by Moons-Light: Stories from Before the Great Melt. She is currently working on the third book in her Tales by Moons-light series: Elvia and the Gift of Passion.

Her entertaining stories lure middle grade readers into science, but her creative ventures don’t stop there. She’s also a folk artist whose colorful “cartoons” delight and inspire both children and adults.

Ruthy is married to a musician and is the mother of two sons, three cats, and a Samoyed dog named Mush, all of whom appear in her work, in various guises, from time to time.

347 words

Ruthy Ballard is a children’s book author, artist, and scientist who lives in Sacramento, California. By day, she’s “Dr. Ruth Ballard,” a professor and forensic DNA expert. By night, she romps in an imaginative world of colors and words that has been her playground since childhood.

Ruthy is the author of Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy and Tales by Moons-Light: Stories from Before the Great Melt. She is currently working on the third book in her Tales by Moons-light series: Elvia and the Gift of Passion.

As a child, Ruthy loved science, but was intimidated by it. It wasn’t until she joined a group called the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers that she overcame her fear. As she traveled with colorful telescopes through the national parks, sharing the wonders of the Universe with the general public, she realized that science was for everyone, if delivered in an entertaining, accessible way.

Ruthy is passionate about building scientific literacy in kids, so they can survive, thrive, and lead in the coming decades. Her novels and short tales, set on a distant, two-mooned planet called Urth, teach them science through stories, making it fun and endlessly fascinating, even for the most science-shy kids on the block.

Ruthy writes in the loft above her studio, curled up with her laptop and a cup of tea. But her creative ventures don’t stop there. She frequently climbs down and sets up shop at her art table. There, surrounded by colorful pencils, brush pens, and sketch paper, she draws cartoons and book illustrations for children of all ages, including adults.

Ruthy is married to a musician, Ernie Hills, and is the mother of two sons, two step-children, three cats, and a Samoyed dog named Mush, all of whom appear in her work, in various guises, from time to time. When she isn’t working with her students in the lab or holed up in her studio writing or drawing, she likes to hike with Mush and Ernie in the Sierra Nevada mountains and turn her giant telescope (affectionately nicknamed The Beast), to the night sky.

author-ruthy-ballard

Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy

By Ruthy Ballard

FACT SHEET

Category: Juvenile Fiction
BISAC Codes:
JUV044000 JUVENILE FICTION / Readers / Intermediate
JUV037000 JUVENILE FICTION / Fantasy & Magic
JUV029000 JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Nature / General

Title: Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy
Author: Ruthy Ballard
Formats: Print & eBook
Pages: 260
Price: $12.95 (paperback); $7.99 (eBook)

ISBN 978-0-9978532-7-8 (Paperback)
ISBN 978-0-9978532-8-5 (Kindle)
ISBN 978-0-9978532-9-2 (ePub)

Publisher Contact

Whipsmart Books
5008 T Street
Sacramento, CA 95819
Phone: 916-835-3757
Email: info@whipsmartbooks.com
Website: www.whipsmartbooks.com

Publicity Contact

Gail M. Kearns
825 E. Pedregosa Street, Suite 2
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805-898-2263
Email: gail@topressandbeyond.com
Website: www.topressandbeyond.com

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