• 61°

Be cool and come meet the creator of Alien Dude

How can you resist a title like “Alien Dude and the Attack of Wormzilla”?

The author hopes you can’t, since it’s the first title in a series for reluctant readers. It’s specifically aimed at boys, but girls would like it, too.

It’s got zany black, white and gray illustrations, is packed with humor and action. It has all the boys’ favorite things — yucky worms, farts, grossness and morphing.

Which will lead right to the next title, “Alien Dude, Mr. Evil Potato Man, and the Food Fight,” which was published late last year.

The stories are by Beth Smith, better known as E.K. Smith, who had a reluctant reader son. She started writing stories that would appeal to him, but when she got it wrong, he told her. She searched for similar books, but came up short. With her son’s help in rewriting the stories, she found a new reluctance, this time from publishers who only wanted experts or educators as authors.

So she left her teaching job at an elementary school in Charlotte to start her own publishing label. She called it Zip Line Publishing because her family had a blast doing their first zipline.

The Alien Dude series started in January 2014, and is going to be a 10-book series. Teacher Smith writes under the pename E.K. Smith, because that sounds cooler, and the books are illustrated by Peter Grosshauser.

Smith’s goal is for boys to read these books by themselves. They’re aimed at 6-9 -year-olds.

Her books aren’t the simple 20-pagers you might expect, but a long 60 ages, with problems to solve and solutions to find. She thinks boys are more sophisticated than people realize.

Her son, Lake, helped her name Alien Dude, who was first named Shade Farley. Not a cool name. Exploding worms are cool, singing is not. Burping is pretty cool, too.

Mr. Evil Potato Man puts a spell on the school food at lunch, turning the kids into the food they eat. Alien Dude must save the day and you know that will be accomplished with some sort of awesome moves.

Grosshauser has illustrated for Klutz Books, HIghlights and McDonald’s.

Smith will be at Literary Bookpost on Saturday, May 2, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., telling story and serving snacks. It will probably be grossly cool.

Comments

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 positives reported at Piedmont Correctional

Crime

Blotter: Police respond to shots fired call outside of Salisbury home

Coronavirus

Rowan tied for fifth among counties for most COVID-19 deaths

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

News

Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate

Coronavirus

Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief

Crime

Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint

Education

Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools will survey families, stakeholders about next superintendent

Local

Library to reopen for in-person visits Oct. 1

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office K-9s to receive bulletproof vests

Crime

Man charged with sex offense, raping teen

Business

Commissioners receive analysis of county’s development application process

Crime

Man arrested in Spencer in connection with Charlotte murder investigation

Local

County government losing assistant manager, social services director

Education

RSS will collect information on full K-5 return

Education

KCS sees smooth transition back to classes, unlikely to transition to all in-person for K-5

Nation/World

Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend

Local

Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC

Coronavirus

12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active