Review by Cathy Duffy, an expert on school curricula.
Click here to read the review: I Laid an Egg on Aunt Ruth’s Head
Review by Apex Reviews
(March 2010, 5 Stars)
Containing more than 40 amusing short stories, I Laid An Egg On Aunt Ruth’s Head highlights the adventures of the eponymous protagonist as she embarks on an extended journey of grammatical correctness. Despite her years of seasoned life experience, Aunt Ruth often struggles with some of the most basic concepts and applications of proper grammatical usage; so, led by her precocious nephew, she ultimately learns invaluable lessons that heighten her awareness of and appreciation for – the world of proper grammar.
Impressively crafted by author Joel Schnoor, Aunt Ruth is less an instructive manual and more a practical guide to correcting the everyday grammatical mistakes we often unwittingly make. Without coming off as preachy or pedantic, Schnoor actually manages to make the learning process fun, which will bolster the appeal of his collection to readers of all ages. A younger audience, though, is sure to find the stories particularly engaging, mainly due to the ease with which they will connect with Aunt Ruth’s brassy, yet patient nephew. All in all, Schnoor’s insightful, amusing approach successfully breathes new life into what is typically viewed as a rather mundane subject.
Clever, witty, and surprisingly edifying, I Laid An Egg On Aunt Ruth’s Head is a can’t-miss literary treat for true lovers of the English language.
Review by Pam Nelson at Raleigh News and Observer
The book was reviewed by Pam Nelson at the News and Observer in Raleigh, NC. Pam is the grammar expert and one of the book reviewers at the N&O. Click here to read the review: I Laid an Egg on Aunt Ruth’s Head
Here’s what the readers are saying …
As a teacher and lifelong student of the English language, I am always looking for fresh material aimed at presenting the essentials in a manner that will be easily grasped. This book is a rare find! It approaches the subject with a fun, light-hearted style that is a joy to read. Using humor to get the points across, Joel Schnoor masterfully presents some of the most frequently abused grammar rules through comical short stories. Everything here is family friendly. I would guess that children as young as 4th grade would enjoy the humor and benefit from the lessons taught, but even an adult with a keen eye and love for the language will be challenged to catch ALL the puns and allusions hidden in this one.
To help drive home the grammar points, the book is equipped with an appendix that reiterates the specific rules presented throughout the stories by offering example sentences of correct and incorrect usage. There is also a very useful table of commonly used irregular verb conjugations. This is a funny book but it covers some serious grammar.
Anyone looking to avoid the pitfalls of the English language, or to teach others to do likewise, will find this book to be an entertaining and useful guide. — M.S. Hahn
I taught English for Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools for 10 years, and I wish this book had been available then! It gives traditional English usage and grammar a shot of adrenaline and never lets up! My own children love the stories, and have had the added benefit of learning usage rules along the way. Adults, too, can benefit from the information (and enjoy the stories!). This book ought to be used by every school system in the country, home schoolers, and anybody else who wants to conquer the nuances of the English language, once and for all! — Jennifer Steinhauser
If you’re like me, learning something and having it stick with you long term isn’t always easy (or fun). I Laid an Egg on Aunt Ruth’s Head makes learning grammar rules so entertaining that you don’t even realize you are learning grammar rules that we all should have learned long ago and that you will retain for life. But don’t think of this book as a text book. If you want, you can read it for the pure enjoyment of following the relationship between Aunt Ruth and her “annoying” nephew. It’s funny, and touching, and will keep you reading story after story wondering where Aunt Ruth will take you next. The back of the book has all of the grammar rules from the stories spelled out with examples which makes this book a handy desk reference as well. So this book works on many levels for a wide range of ages. It will put a smile on your face and make you a better writer in the process! Two thumbs up from me! — Kenneth High
Grammar has always been my least favorite subject.I laid an egg on Aunt Ruth’s head, is the first and only grammar book that I have enjoyed reading. It is very easy to fall in love with the characters of this book. I am looking forward to more books from this author. This is a must book for any library. — Tiadora Anderson
My 10 year old fell in love with I Laid an Egg on Aunt Ruth’s Head — and even begged for MORE Aunt Ruth stories! This is the first and only grammar book that I have actually enjoyed reading. The writing is clear and entertaining and the characters teach without preachiness. I am looking forward to more books from this author. This is a must book for any library. — D. Jackson
Praise from Other Authors
Thom Gunn once wrote of “the dull thunder of approximate words.” And Horace gave us the formula: we should instill profit through pleasure. Joel Schnoor has written an excellent book (not for our shelves but for our desks) that delights and informs and helps us to get the right word in the right place.
On the battlefield or in the courtroom imprecise communication can be disastrous: “CEASE FIRE!” “SAY AGAIN ALL AFTER CEASE!” “FIRE!” “ON THE WAY!”
In ordinary, everyday life the proper use of the English language adds dimensions of clarity and pleasure to both the speaker and the listener.
Joel Schnoor has done us all a favor by writing this excellent book. In fairness I should disclose that I once met his Aunt Ruth, who assisted in the solving of a most perplexing crime, purely by applying the rules of grammar. Perhaps Schnoor will favor us with that story at some time in the future.
In the meantime, I (and the young attorneys and staff who work for me) will become very, very familiar with this modern masterpiece of diction and grammar.
John Stevens Berry, Sr., Fellow, American Board of Criminal Lawyers
Author, Those Gallant Men
Are you in love with the English language and have more than once been tempted to demand the Grammar Police deliver one of your erroneous or felonious friends to our already overcrowded prisons? This is the book for you! In his humorous and irresistible style Joel Schnoor makes lie and lay and its and it’s clear to us in a way too funny to forget. Joel Schnoor’s “I laid an Egg on Aunt Ruth’s Head or Conquering the English Language and its Ruthless Ways” made me laugh and cry and that isn’t because I actually did know the original Aunt Ruth.
After all, Aunt Ruth is “She for whom the Bell tolls” for each and every one of us.
Glenna Luschei, PhD, OFB (Order of the Folies Bergere)
Author, Unexpected Grace
If you are looking for something different to read, this could be just what you need. This book can be read as a collection of amusing stories, or as a way of improving your English grammar.
The author covers many of the common mistakes people make and shows how amusing the results can often be.So, if you want to be entertained by Aunt Ruth and get educated at the same time, this is the book for you, a well written and organized book for students and adults.
Author, Peter and the Black Dog