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Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1) Paperback – March 13, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Vladimir Tod's is a vampire-or at least sort of; he's not quite sure. His father was a vampire, but his mother was human, and they died three years ago in a mysterious accident. Now Vlad has only his friend Henry and his "Aunt" Nelly, his mother's best friend who is raising him, to confide in. He has a hunger for blood, although he's been trained since babyhood to be "normal" and not to act on it. He gets by because Nelly, who's a nurse, brings home bags of blood from the hospital where she works, and he hides one or two in his backpack for when he gets hungry. But Vlad realizes that his father had a history he didn't know about when his English teacher vanishes mysteriously, to be replaced by a tall, thin substitute teacher in a purple top hat who seems to know a little too much about him. This story comes with all the usual eighth-grade angst, and none of the characters is particularly gripping. While some vampire fans will enjoy it, others will find the way that Brewer plays fast and loose with the standard vampire lore hard to swallow. Eighth Grade Bites reads like the novelization of an unexceptional made-for-TV movie.—Walter Minkel, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Heather Brewer was not your typical teen growing up. She wore black, danced under full moons, and devoured every book in sight. She hasn't changed much. Today, Heather can be found writing in her funky, black Happy Bunny jammie pants, dancing under a full moon, devouring every book in sight, and attending renaissance faire in full costume (and in character).

When Heather's not writing, dressing up, dancing and reading, she's answering email, which she loves to get over at her website.


Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (March 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142411876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142411872
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the first vampire book I've ever read and I didn't know how I'd feel about it at first. But consider me converted - this was FUN. Because all I had coming into this were old-school ideas of vampires, Heather Brewer showed me how wrong I was to think vampires don't have feelings! I got totally into the realities of Vlad's everyday life - the bullies, the blood bags, etc. Oh - and it's really funny, too, which I loved! I already bought Ninth Grade Slays & can't wait to read it.
Also - I gave this book to my two teen (11 & 12) nephews and both of them really loved it - which is a miracle, because getting them to read ANYTHING is difficult. So - if you know a reluctant reader, this might be the perfect book for them.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't enjoy Eighth Grade Bites as much as I thought I would, and I'm not sure why. Vampires are my thing, so add some humour to the mix, and on paper I should love it. Instead I found it a fairly hard book to get through, and finished it feeling little to nothing for the characters.

I like what Brewer tried to do with the humour, and I admit I did appreciate all the vampire jokes and references. There's something about a teenage vampire with a garlic allergy that made me laugh, and the fact that Vlad takes it all in his stride just added to the over all tongue-in-cheek feel of the story.

The characters are where my problem lies, which is a shame, because they had the potential to be really good. For me, they lacked any real depth, and I didn't come away from the book feeling like I really knew them. Maybe this improves in later books, which I am still planning to read at some point in the future.

The great ideas were there, I just don't think it was executed as well as it could have been. Still, it was interesting to hear about vampirism from a teenage perspective, and Vlad's father's journal entries interspersed throughout were a nice touch. Although Eighth Grade Bites was slightly disappointing, I'll give the next book a chance, and hope I enjoy it a bit more than this one
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Format: Paperback
I gave this book three stars, because I'm honestly not sure if I should give it a two or a four. I always love a good supernatural read, especially one about vampires, so when I learned that this book was about a teenage vampire, I was intrigued. It was a step away from the previous vampire books I'd read, where the vampires are all dark and serious and brooding.

This book has a lot of faults. I found it shelved in the Teen section of the bookstore, which later surprised me. Despite being about teenagers, I'd decrease the reading level to maybe middle school or even elementary. The writing is very simplistic, the plot line reduced to a very basic form. EVERY character fits a stereotype so perfectly it's almost boring--the sidekick, the motherly figure, the evil villain. Everything a character says or does seems cliche, typical. As a teenager myself, I found Vlad and Henry and his friends all very flat, like sitcom characters.

Also, one thing that I thought hurt the plot was that, in Vlad's world, if someone says something, then it MUST be true. There is no explanation. If a bad guy says he's actually a good guy, then he's good. There are quite a few events in the story that don't make sense, especially the prologue.

BUT, DESPITE all that...I enjoyed the book. This book is FUN, and so if you don't analyze it too much, if you don't focus on whether the plot makes sense...then you CAN enjoy this book. I like Vlad. I like the idea of a character like Vlad. It's actually kind of refreshing that the book isn't very serious, because I know I can read it quickly and just have fun with it. I can laugh at the characters and their stereotypical dialogue, and I can laugh at all the quirky puns Vlad makes about being a teenage vampire (like the Smiley Fanged T-Shirt).
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Format: Paperback
I wanted so desperately to like this book - I work with books for a living and I'm always on the look out for good reads for younger teens, especially ones that appeal to boys. So after hearing so many good things about this series I decided to give this a shot. The premise and characters all sounded so fun and the book started out with a definite bang but sadly that's all it really has going for it.

I wish I could give this book two reviews - one for how I think it should be viewed in the eyes of parents and teachers looking to recommend it and one for how it stands up on it's own. For adults looking for good vampire fiction for kids, this does make a very good choice. And with so much vampire fiction on the market being targeted at young girls its nice to see a male alternative pop up. I suspect this book would also make a good selection for reluctant readers at a middle school level - the book keeps it's page count low and the writing styling makes it easy to follow along with for younger teens who aren't yet doing so well with longer chapter books.

However for anyone outside of it's target demographic this book is a hot mess - it's biggest flaw being how both characters and plot are woefully underdeveloped - after finishing this book I could tell you a host a facts about the people populating its pages and yet I couldn't tell you why they felt the way that they did or even how they came by such a decision. We know that Vlad has a crush on a girl in his class but she seems to not function at all out side of this role - other than the fact that she had blue eyes we know nothing about her other than Vlad loves her. What is her personality like? Why does Vlad like her so much that he's rendered speechless in her presence? Is she kind? Smart?
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