Thursday, February 18, 2010

YA Pick

Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book One)
by Heather Brewer
Scholastic, 2007.
182 pages.

Meet Vladamir Tod. He's sometimes funny, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes moody, yet always hungry. Just your typical teen-age boy, right? Well, kinda--Vlad is "typical" in all areas except for the fact that his father was a very powerful vampire who turned his back on his own kind to marry a human, Vlad's mother. This fact alone makes Vlad a "marked man" in vampiredom; the true vampires think he's dangerous and want his father to answer for his actions in breaking vampire law.

Aunt Nellie raises Vlad after the untimely deaths of his parents. Nellie is not a blood (pun intended) relation at all--she was best friends with Vlad's mother. Lucky for Vlad, Nellie works in a hospital and is responsible for disposing all the blood near its "due date." Vlad happily feeds on the blood bags Nellie brings home.

Throughout the book, Vlad faces the usual worries of an 8th grade boy: shyness around girls, being bullied by two huge thugs, worries about not being popular, jealousy, oh, and add in the fact that a vampire wants to kill Vlad.

Brewer wins fans with the likeable friendship of Vlad and Henry. Readers will want to read the next books: Ninth Grade Slays and Tenth Grade Bleeds. The fourth installment is due out February 2010 with the paperback edition due out August 2010. Be on the look-out for a movie of Vlad. He is too likeable a character for Hollywood to pass up. Recommended for YA collections. Grade 6-up.

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