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My Rotten Life (Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie) Paperback – August 4, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Series: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Starscape; 1 edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531634X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765316349
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—Fifth-grader Nathan Abercrombie has more problems than just being unathletic and unpopular. After a particularly grueling day, he is convinced by outcast Abigail to try a new remedy developed by her scientist uncle called Hurt-Be-Gone, which kills emotions. When Nathan is inadvertently doused in the substance, he becomes partially dead. He no longer needs to eat, breathe, or sleep, and he doesn't feel any pain. With Abigail's uncle on the lam from the police, Nathan has only Abigail and his friend Mookie to restore him back to life before the remedy takes full effect, making him permanently dead. The first book in a promising new series introduces likable characters beset by unusual but humorous circumstances. The gross-out factor—Nathan gets a fork jammed through his nose, loses a thumb, and pulls off a little finger—will appeal to reluctant readers. This book will have a large following.—Beth Cuddy, Seward Elementary School, Auburn, NY END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Being dead has never been cooler. Go Nathan Abercrombie! You’re a zombie for the 21st century.”—Gordon Korman, author of 39 Clues: One False Note and No More Dead Dogs


My Rotten Life stinks—but that's only when Nathan Abercrombie belches. The rest of the book is a delightful and disgusting story about friendship that will leave you in stitches.”—Lisa Yee, author of Millicent Min, Girl Genius


“If you like half dead zombie comedies, this is the book for you.”—Dan Gutman, author of Babe and Me

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Some days just stink.

Nathan Abercrombie is having the worst day of his life. To say that it was horrible would be an understatement. First off, he's diss'd by the prettiest girl in school-- the one he just happens to have a huge crush on. Then he's chosen last during gym. And then... and then, in a foolish effort to ease the heartache of being stuck forever at the losers' table, he gets talked into visiting a mad scientist, where he accidentally gets doused with an experimental fluid that leaves him dying, one inch at a time.

I won't disclose the rest of the plot (nor the twist at the end), but suffice it to say that Nathan and Abigail (the mad scientist's neice) and Nathan's best friend Mookie, end up on a hunt for a cure for Nathan's zombie-like condition. A hunt that teaches them quite a few life lessons.

If you've got a kid who has a funny bone and who likes a little gross humor, point them at My Rotten Life.

It's a light-hearted book that they should amuse most kids (and mom's like me!). David Lubar's jazzy writing keeps the story moving along. And I swear he had me chuckling outloud on just about every page.

Funny and insightful, Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie ought make a good Read-aloud. Now that I've finished the book, I plan on sharing it with my 7- and 9- year-olds.

No foul language. No unseemliness, unless you count a little rotting flesh.

mom and Reviewer at BooksForKids-reviews
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lasiuta on August 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Some kids books just don't make the grade, no matter what age level they're written for. Thankfully, My Rotten Life is more than your `age appropriate' book.

At Belgosi Junior High School Nathan Abercrombie is a nobody. He sits at the loser table, and gets marks that distinguish nobody. His friends are not high on the social hierarchy either. Going to an Uncle of one of his less popular classmates, he is splashed by a Hurt No More cure that turns him into zombie one piece of body at a time. His friends Mookie, Abigail, and Adam suffer with him but only Mookie, and science wonder Abigail know his situation. His mom think he's not well, and his teachers don't notice his malady. He can't breathe, eat, or use the washroom, but he can run and field day without pain. In `death' he excels, in life, he sucks. Live or dead, Nathan will never be without friends again and his life will not be the same ever.

So as to not give the book away. This is a delightful, silly, enthusiastic , charming book that David Lubar put his heart into. It shows. The pacing is excellent, the characters are kids my son may know, yet it is divorced enough from reality to give a `why not' ?

As a parent, I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I think it's on par with Deep Fried Worms and other classic kids books. Well done Mr Lubar!

Tim Lasiuta

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By Hemenway on October 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm sorry you big fat jerk I Love you but your a Chinese woman what the @$&_():;"¢¡%\*~¿©®|°°[]<£>·™€`^¥«»{};:"-!#/=+?Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Length: 1:31 Mins
Nathan Abercrombie is a typical fifth-grader with ordinary fifth-grade problems: he is the second skinniest kid in school, which secures him a position at the "second-best" table with the other less popular students. He has issues with "catty," more popular girls, overbearing bullies, and gym teachers. Life for Nathan is rough. So when his life's course is altered by his being exposed to an experimental serum that turns him into a zombie, he is not terribly bothered by the ordeal. After all, he has more time for video games, since he no longer requires sleep. And bullies will never be a problem for a kid who no longer experiences pain.
Being half-dead may not be that bad, and Nathan is even starting to become more popular at his school because of it. But what if he wanted to become human again? Is there even a way of returning to his real life from this half-dead life that he now calls his own? Find out in the first book from an all-new series from David Lubar, My Rotten Life: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie.
David Lubar is an author whose work has been highly praised by reviewers of children's literature. His first novel, Hidden Talents, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and his subsequents works have been well-received by young readers everywhere. This latest work deals with the hilarity and hijinks that are merely an integral part of childhood for so many. His latest novel is a delightful, comedic read best suited to middle grade readers.
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More About the Author

David Lubar has written more than thirty books for teens and young readers. His novels, including Hidden Talents and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, are on reading lists across the country, saving countless students from a close encounter with Madam Bovary. His novel, Dunk, won Pennsylvania's Young Adult Book Award and was used by the New Jersey Library Association for their One Book New Jersey program. His Weenies short story collections have sold more than two million copies. He had several books come out this year, including Hyde and Shriek, and Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge (He's actually a much nicer person than these titles would indicate.) He is a popular speaker at schools and conferences around the country. He also designed and programmed many video games in an earlier eight-bit life, including Home Alone and Frogger 2. In his spare time, he takes naps on the couch. He grew up in New Jersey, went to Rutgers, and now lives in Nazareth, PA with one awesome female and various annoying felines. You can visit him on the web at

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