What parents need to know
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.
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?
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?