A 9-year-old author tells us 'How to Talk to Girls'

Yes, he's only 9, but Alec Greven already has a good handle on relations with the opposite sex – and he has a contract with a major book publisher.

It all started last year in Ms. Dupree's third-grade class in Castle Rock, Colo. The class had a writing contest. All winning entries were sold at the school fair to raise money for charity. Alec's book, "How to Talk to Girls," was the bestseller. It earned the school more than $200, all of which Alec donated to the track team.

That wasn't the end, however. "How to Talk to Girls" had attracted attention. A local TV station did a story. Within hours, Ellen DeGeneres's assistant was on the phone, asking if Alec could fly to L.A. to appear on her show.

Anyway, long story short, Alec's book "How To Talk to Girls" is being published next month by HarperCollins. (Alec actually has a two-book deal. "How To Talk to Girls II" is already in the works.)

Alec says he picked up all his information simply from being observant on the playground. Among his tips:

– You're better off with a "regular girl" than a "pretty girl." (Alec defines pretty girls as the ones who wear "fancy earrings, fancy dresses, all those shoes.") According to Alec, "about 73 percent of regular girls ditch boys, 98 percent of pretty girls ditch boys."

– If you're shy, you want a talkative girl.

– Don't be the class clown.

– Impress girls with your skills but don't show off.

– Call her but don't keep her talking too long on the phone. (Two hours, for instance, is too long. Your mother will call you for dinner and you may have to hurt the girl's feelings by abruptly breaking off the conversation.)

– If a girl ditches you, move on, life is hard.

Alec has stressed in interviews that his generalizations apply to the Soaring Hawk Elementary School playground and he can't be sure about the world beyond that. But I've got to say, it sounds pretty good to me!

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