It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve had a Deb’s Pageant Contestant.

In Secrets of Truth & Beauty, Dara is a former child pageant star. So, in order to introduce you to the wonderful authors and characters of the 2009 Debutantes, I am hosting a Debs Pageant on my blog. Today we have Gianna Z. from Kate Messner.

GiannaZ2Character name: Gianna Zales
Age: 12
Biography: I was born in Vermont, and I’m in 7th grade at Ethan Allen Middle School. I run cross country and will be competing in sectionals this year, IF I can get my dumb leaf project done on time.

My parents run a mortuary out of the house, and Nonna lives with the us. She bakes her famous “funeral cookies” for all the calling hours downstairs. My little brother Ian tortures me with riddles. Thank goodness for my best friend Zig, or I’d be lost!

What is your talent?
I’m great at two things — running and art. My philosophy with both is that you can’t do it right without getting dirty.

What will you wear for the evening dress competition?
Evening dress? I don’t want to do that part. Do I have to do that part? If you make me do it, I’ll just wear jeans and one of my Picasso T-shirts…

Who is your escort?
Zig. But he’s not dressing up either.

And now for the interview portion:
What’s the biggest challenge facing today’s youth?

School leaf collection projects. If I’m named Miss America or whatever, I’m going to make sure school leaf collection projects are banned.

What color best represents you and why?
Really, really bright red and orange, all blended together. Because I have a lot of energy and ideas that get smushed together sometimes, too.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I told you…I’d get rid of those leaf collection projects. No, wait… anything? I think I’d try to turn back time, or maybe freeze it until Zig could grow up with his genius brain and come up with a cure for what’s wrong with Nonna’s memory. I want the old Nonna back.

If I could change TWO things, the leaf collection ban would for sure be next, though.

Thank you Gianna and Kate!

Gianna seems adorable, don’t you think? Although I get the impression that she might not like that description.

To find out more about Kate and Gianna, please visit Kate’s website. If you want to get a copy, you can order it from the Flying Pig Bookstore, Kate’s favorite local bookstore. They’ll even ship it to you.

Debs Pageant: Kate Messner
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