Middle School Bites

Holiday House. (Middle School Bites). Feb. 2020. 304p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780823445431.
Gr 4-7–When 11-year-old Tom Marks is bitten by a bat, a wolf, and a zombie, his plans to survive middle school by flying under the radar are dashed. On his first day of school, the sun feels burning hot, he finds himself howling in chorus, and he has a strange craving for blood. Tom realizes that being a vam-wolf-zom has some advantages, but will superhuman strength, hearing, eyesight, and speed save him from notorious bully Tanner Gantt? And how will he fit in at school once his monstrous secret is revealed? This new novel by the head writer of SpongeBob SquarePants combines typical middle school angst with a hilariously over-the-top monster movie premise. Likable, funny Tom dreams up far-fetched visions of the future. Black-and-white cartoon drawings by Fearing ramp up the humor. The cliffhanger ending ensures that there will almost certainly be a sequel.
VERDICT With its enjoyable characters and wacky concept, this novel is sure to have wide appeal.

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