Allison's Book Bag

Posts Tagged ‘Angelina Hansen

Searching for a book to entice reluctant readers? Look no further than Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery by Ace Hansen. With its outrageous plot, wacky characters, and light-hearted toilet humor, this 100-page read will be a sure-fire win with middle-school boys.

Let’s start with that outrageous plot, which all centers around the “fart” word. One weekend, while Julius and his brother are with their dad in his apartment, Augie let one loose. Nothing unusual about that, except then a green cloud rises up and swirls around Augie. Within minutes, the whole family is headed to the emergency room. Except as soon as the family arrives at the hospital, their day gets even crazier. Outside the hospital are crowds of worried folks; inside the air in the waiting room is clogged with green fog. A doctor comes out and starts to separate those with green gas from those with standard emergencies. As patients yell questions at the doctor, an announcement flashes across the television screen about a global medical crisis. Yes, you read me right. The world is in a panic, and scientists are feeling baffled, all because of…. green farts. 🙂 Boys will love this book!

Next I’ll turn to those wacky characters. Actually, there is nothing unusual about our hero, but still Hansen draws mileage from his name to create humor AND inform us about his character. For example, Julius writes, “The real Julius Caesar conquered the world. All I wanted was to conquer a simple spelling test.” A little later, one of Julius’ classmates calls him “Salad Boy” which Julius informs readers is the Caesar salad kind or “the kind with stinky fish and way too much garlic”. As for his family, some of their inconsistent actions create humor. Moreover, their presence leads to some of the conflicts. For example, thanks to Augie accidentally spilling chocolate milk on it, Julius is without a laptop. Without his laptop, Julius is less able to conduct research to find the solution to the green gas mystery, and therefore less likely to win the million dollar prize, and…. more. 😦 Also, thanks to neither of his parents believing that Julius could possibly solve the mystery, they refuse to take him to the library, or to see his eccentric neighbor who might have all the answers or to the library, or…. help him in any way. 😦 Finally, there are the rest of the characters, which includes his best friend’s annoying little sister, who likes to decorate Julius’ treehouse with scented stickers, prattle next to him on the bus, and leads Julius to take alternate routes home. The cast also includes that eccentric neighbor, who barely talks more than two words to anyone.

Actually, what I appreciate most about the secondary characters is that while they do serve to enhance the humor, Hansen also uses them to gently strips apart stereotypes. For example, just by being her girlie self, the little sister ends up saving Julius from a bully. As for the disfigured lady, who in older books would have been called a witch but now is feared as a zombie, Julius finds out she’s a genius who had a stroke. In reality, her cat is to be more feared than her, because the cat uses its claws to scratch anyone who ticks it off. Hansen even throws in some lessons about how to handle school bullies such as playing tricks on them and standing up to them. In true-to-life fashion, however, Julius doesn’t actually win over the bully, change the bully’s mind, or anything uplifting of the sort. Instead, I get the idea that should there be a sequel, Julius will continue to face challenges from this bully.

While Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery is unlikely to win any literary awards, and may offend households who disallow toilet humor, it should have high appeal with middle-school boys. It should easily find a home with those fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate.

My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.

How would you rate this book?


“Ace Hansen doesn’t pass green gas….” This is how the typical biography starts for the author of Julius Caesar and the Green Gas Mystery, the book which I’ll review here tomorrow. Save the date: September 2!

Angelina Hansen grew up in a household of boys and knows all about deadly stinkers, tree houses, and scary neighbors. This childhood in part helped give Hansen her wacky sense of humor. She believes herself to be influenced by all of Roald Dahl’s books and wholeheartedly recommends those books!

An established author of young adult historical novels, Hansen wrote Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery in record time of three months. The favorite part of writing for her is when an idea pops into her head. A breath-mint commercial inspired her humorous middle-grade novel, which has been published under the alias of Ace Hansen.



Angelina Hansen

ALLISON: What is a favorite moment shared with your brothers?

ANGELINA: Running away from home in the wee hours of the morning—sunrise. Took my stuffed rabbit. That’s it. We made it all the way to the field behind our house. Then they changed their minds.

ALLISON: When is a time when you wished for a sister?

ANGELINA: From the moment I learned that sisters existed.

ALLISON: What is the best dating advice your brothers ever offered?

ANGELINA: No advice. But all my friends had crushes on my brothers.

ALLISON: When is a time you were most misunderstood by your brothers?

ANGELINA: When they left home and complained that my parents were spoiling me rotten. It wasn’t my fault!

ALLISON: Why did you become an author?

ANGELINA: I needed a creative challenge. ^+^


ALLISON:Previously, you have written serious young adult stuff. Why the switch to middle grade humor?

ANGELINA: Needed a comic break.

ALLISON: You’ve also written historical novels, which of course would be highly based on research. How easy or difficult was it transitioning to fantasy or stuff based on pure imagination?

ANGELINA: I had so much fun writing this book! However, I did quite a bit of research. One needs a plausible solution to a green gas crisis, right?

ALLISON: At book signings, you have dressed up as an alien. Interviews often tend to be with the sassy alien. What’s been the most fun about this type of promo?


Ace Hansen

ANGELINA: The ability to act out as a sassy alien. My inner boy child has a blast! Any embarrassing moments? Well, Ace is a boy and one kid asked me why I sounded like a girl. I had to think fast—I told him that on my planet boys sound like girls and girls sound like boys! Oh, and someone once pointed out that I had “panty lines.”

ALLISON: If your characters were to promote Julius Caesar Brown, what would they say?

ANGELINA: I don’t know, but I sure wish I could get them involved in marketing and promotion!

ALLISON:If you were to do a mash-up, where characters from your other novels and from Julius Caesar Brown met, what might happen?

ANGELINA: My young adults might finally loosen up and have some fun. ^+^


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