Eighth Grade Bites [the graphic novel]
Adapted by Tony Lee
Illustrated by Julia Laud
Dial Books, 2012
FORMAT: Graphic Novel
AGES: Young Adult
This is the first book in “The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod” series—but in graphic novel format. The story is still the same great story of Vlad, the only known teenager that also happens to be a vampire. His parents died in a mysterious fire and he is being raised by his mom’s best friend (who knows he is a vampire). But things are hard. He has a lot of secrets to keep…not to mention a lot of sunscreen he has to keep putting on. Thankfully Nelly works at a hospital and can get blood that is almost expired for Vlad to drink and infuse into his food. When Vlad’s teacher goes missing, a strange new one takes his place—one that wants Vlad to admit that he is a vampire. But how does he know? And will Vlad be safe if he shows Mr. Otis who he truly is? Since this is the beginning of the series, there is a lot of set up and quite a few unanswered questions left hanging at the end of the book. However, the illustrations are great—showcasing a gothic teenage vampire in an almost normal world. And the pacing is pretty good, with quite a bit of variation in the size of the panels. Although unlike many graphic novels the panels in this book never turn out to be one whole page for exceptionally important moments.
Book Discussion Questions:
What would you do if you were a vampire in high school?
Do you think Mr. Otis is really who he says he is? Why or why not?
Why do you think Aunt Nelly is not bothered by Vlad being a vampire?
What do you think happened to Vlad’s parents?
How do the illustrations help or hurt the story?
Do you keep any secrets from others? Does it ever create problems? Why would some people keep secrets?