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.
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.