Cover image for Vampire State Building
Vampire State Building
Levy, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2002.
Physical Description:
x, 100 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Eleven-year-old Sam Bamford's on-line chess pal is in New York to play in a tournament, but Sam's sister and cousin are wary because Vlad has pointy teeth, comes from Romania, and admits to keeping secrets.
Reading Level:
490 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 2.0 64126.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.9 5 Quiz: 34086 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Sam Bamford loves playing online chess with his friend Vlad, who is from Romania. Vlad says he's a beginner, like Sam, but he beats Sam every time. It doesn't matter to Sam where Vlad lives. But Sam's brother, Robert, is sure Vlad knows vampires, since the original Dracula lived in Romania. Maybe he is even related to one.

Then Vlad tells Sam he's coming to New York, where Sam lives, for a chess tournament. A beginner in a chess tournament? Is Vlad keeping secrets from Sam? And is it possible that Vlad really does come from a family of vampires-and now they're coming for a visit?

This sequel to Elizabeth Levy's popular Frankenstein Moved in on the Fourth Floor and Dracula Is A Pain In The Neck is funny -- as long as you read it with the lights on.

Author Notes

Elizabeth Levy was born and grew up in Buffalo, New York. She attended Brown University, majoring in history. After graduation, Levy went to New York City and worked as a researcher for Howard Cosell at ABC-TV and then for Senator Robert Kennedy. She has been writing for nearly thirty years and has written over 80 books.

Levy has won the Georgia State Award, the Maryland State Award and was a Virginia State Award Nominee in 2001 for My Life as a Fifth Grade Comedian, she was on the ABA Pick of the Lists in 2000 for Seventh Grade Tango. Levy also appeared in the New York Public Library 100 Best Books of 1997, was an Arkansas State Award, Runner Up in 1992, was Nominated for the Florida Sunshine State Award, the New Mexico, Land of Enchantment Award, and the Nevada Award, for Keep Ms. Sugarman in the Fourth Grade. She earned a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year in 1977 for Struggle and Lose, Struggle and Win: The United Mineworkers Story and an Outstanding Science book for Children from the National Science Teachers Association, for Before You Were Three in 1977.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6. In the fine tradition of Night of the Living Gerbil (2001), 11-year-old Sam, his younger brother, Robert, and their irritating cousin, Mabel, return for another tale set in New York. Sam is playing chess online with 12-year-old Vlad Clinciu living in Bucharest, Romania. Mabel prattles on about vampires and Count Dracula, but Sam and Vlad simply enjoy the back-and-forth of chess play. Vlad and his family come to New York so Vlad can be in a chess tournament, and Sam is astounded and annoyed to find that his friend is not a chess beginner at all. Meanwhile, Mabel and Robert find all sorts of reasons to believe that Vlad is a vampire and try to convince Sam. Along with the slightly mysterious goings-on, readers will enjoy getting a tour of New York City as kids and adults revel in showing their town to the visitors. Levy's light touch works well here. ^-GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the fourth title in the Sam and Robert Bamford series (including Dracula Is a Pain in the Neck and Frankenstein Moved In on the Fourth Floor), Sam's online chess partner, Vlad, visits New York City from Romania in Vampire State Building by Elizabeth Levy, illus. by Sally Wern Comport. Sam and family suspect Vlad's a vampire; Levy sensitively handles the post-September 11 realities of New York. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-In the Bamford brothers' fourth mock-horror adventure, Robert is worried about Sam's on-line Romanian chess partner. Vlad comes from Dracula's home turf, after all, and Robert has had experience in that line. When Vlad arrives in New York for a tournament, Robert immediately notices the older boy's crooked, pointed teeth. Also, his brother's opponent is allergic to garlic, avoids looking into mirrors, and is disturbed that the chess matches are taking place during daylight. Then, when the visitor talks about his mysterious "family curse," even Sam begins to wonder just what his foreign friend is hiding. The humorous dialogue rings true, and the warm but sometimes prickly relationship between the siblings is believable. The eerily funny dust jacket and gray-toned illustrations add to the fun. With a quiet message about trust and friendship, this chapter book has just the right combination of chuckles and chills for young readers looking for "a scary one."-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. ix
1 Chess Nutsp. 1
2 The Houdini of Romaniap. 10
3 A Smooth Yellow Cowardly Liarp. 20
4 Once Upon a Pawnp. 32
5 If a Vampire Eats Garlic, It Shrivels upp. 45
6 A Dragon with Bad Breathp. 52
7 That's the War the Pigeon Poopsp. 63
8 If Your Brother Won't Brush his Teeth, Does that Mean he's a Vampire?p. 74
9 Please, Please Help mep. 84
10 Anything's Possiblep. 91