Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Common Sense Media says

Exciting vampire tale sucks in reluctant readers.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overall feel is a bit spooky with villains, school issues, and typical teen crushes all mixed in together.

Positive role models

Though the main character is a vampire, he, his surrogate family, and friends are pretty stable characters. There are bullies and villains in this story, however both groups' actions are seen in a negative light.

Violence

Two people die in a fire before the book begins, their son believes it was murder. A vampire attacks and kills two people. A vampire is killed by a special weapon that uses light.

Sex

Crushes and talk of someone being a good kisser; a discussion of how two people fell in love and became parents.

Language

Some name calling.

Consumerism

Twinkies, Playstation, Sony

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know there is a fair amount of blood in this story, though most of it comes from the blood bank. Three people are shown being killed, though it's not particularly gory.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Eighth grade is no picnic. Like the average outsider Vlad's got bullies and a crush on his mind. But being a vampire, and one recently orphaned in mysterious circumstances, adds a whole new level of suckiness. Vlad has to hide blood in his school lunches, slather on the sunscreen, and keep his fangs under control.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

EIGHTH GRADE BITES is a yummy treat. The book's cover sets the tone: dark, cool, creepy, and exciting. Many books and movies have already explored teens turning into supernatural beings -- witches, wizards, werewolves, even superheroes. Heather Brewer makes Vlad a known vampire from birth. Instead of wrapping up the challenges of growing into an adult with the challenges of becoming a vampire, Vlad has always been an outsider, though we are beginning to explore the vampire world as Vlad is being slowly exposed to it. Another difference -- most stories have the teens becoming cooler as they realize they have powers, whereas Vlad is still pretty uncool, at least to the kids in his school. Brewer also includes positive adult figures -- yet another departure from most teen novels.

This fun read was named an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. And tapping into the MySpace crowd, Brewer and Vampire Island author Adele Griffin teamed up to launch a popular MySpace page with their lead characters.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about standing up to bullies. Have you ever been bullied? Why is it important to stand up to someone who is harassing you? Who can you talk to if you need help?

Book details

Author:Heather Brewer
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dutton Children's Books
Publication date:August 16, 2007
Number of pages:182
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Award:ALA Best and Notable Books

This review of Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byDia Tod September 4, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

great for tweens, teens, and young adults.

Vladimir Tod tried to have a normal life as a normal teen in the town of Barthory . He went to school, hung out with his friends, and tried not to let the whole world know he’s half vampire. His mother was human but his father was vampire. Both his parents were killed in a house fire. So he lived with his “Aunt” Nelly, who really isn’t his Aunt but a close friend of his mother. Up until eight grade ( *Eight Grade Bites*) when a vampire called D’Ablo, the president of the Elysia council, is out to kill him, he finds out that his friend , Henry, is his drudge (human slave) for life and his Uncle Otis becomes his teacher. The reason Vladimir and his parents are wanted dead is because it is a crime for vampires and humans to be married and have children. Only the vampires don’t know that his parents are dead. Vladimir is able to beat him a weapon that was his fathers, called a Lucis, and escapes with his life. Although D’Ablo didn’t die, which Vladimir find out in ninth grade (*Ninth Grade Slays*). Only D’Ablo hires a vampire slayer to go after Vladimir this time. Only this time D’Ablo is testing Vladimir to see if he’s the pravus. Only the slayer is Vladimir’s new friend and his best friend’s ,Henry’s, cousin, but he still tries to kill Vladimir. Amazingly Vladimir is able to live through it. Now as Vladimir enters tenth grade (*Tenth Grade Bleeds*) he has new problems. D’Ablo kidnapped his Uncle, Henry doesn’t want to be his drudge anymore, he almost bit his girlfriend Meredith, and he bites of a girl named Snow outside a club named Crypt. Not to mention that now that D’Ablo knows he’s the Pravus he’s wants to take his power of invincibility. Now Vladimir must save his Uncle, take down D’Ablo, make up with Henry, apologize to Snow (who is now Vladimir’s drudge), and keep Meredith away from him to protect her. It really was “ Another sucky year at Barthory High for Vladimir Tod”.

Foot note:
(* *) = the name of the book
All books by Heather Brewer

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old Written byPeroxide Princess June 26, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

One of my absolute favorite books.

Teen, 13 years old Written byhaylay247 January 26, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Pretty good!

I actually just finished the book and I really liked it! Throughout the book there is suspense and mystery and at times, its hard to even put the book down! I never really found any parts were I got a little bored while reading the book and I read it in one night.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families