Cover image for Vampire High
Title:
Vampire High
Author:
Rees, Douglas.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
226 pages : 22 cm
Summary:
When his family moves from California to New Sodom, Massachusetts and Cody enters Vlad Dracul Magnet School, many things seem strange, from the dark-haired, pale-skinned, supernaturally strong students to Charon, the wolf who guides him around campus on the first day.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
620 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 4.0 7.0 74767.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.5 13 Quiz: 35959 Guided reading level: W.
ISBN:
9780385731171

9780385901437
Format :
Book

Available:*

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X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Summary

Summary

It doesn't take long for Cody Elliot to realize that his new high school is a little different. The other students are supernaturally strong, don't like the sunlight, and are always placing orders at the local blood bank. When his new friend shows him his fangs, Cody doesn't need any more clues--these kids are vampires! As Cody struggles to fit into this secretive community, he disrupts centuries of human-vampire segregation, with some serious--and some seriously funny--consequences. In sharp, humorous, and insightful prose, Douglas Rees creates a world of vampires where the real issue for humans is not the fear of being bitten, but the need to get along. From the Hardcover edition.


Author Notes

Douglas Rees, a young adult librarian, once spent a year in Massachusetts near a town much like New Sodom.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. There's barely a false note in this rollicking tale of horror, humor, and light romance that will appeal to both girls and boys. Transplanted from California to an archetypal New England town, ninth-grader Cody Elliot flunks out of the local public school; but he's accepted at Vlad Dracul Magnet School, where most of the students are tall, pale, and prone to Edwardian mannerisms. The school timber wolf accompanies Cody to his first day of classes, and it doesn't take the new kid long to figure out that the school is populated by--and organized to continue the traditional social life of--vampires. Rees keeps things moving and delightfully off-balance as Cody rescues a classmate from bullies, falls in love with a vampire princess, and designs a way to save the school. The parody of New England society adds yet another level of hilarity, but at the center are Cody and his toothsome friends, inspired and inspirational teens discovering the world as it is and making it renew for themselves. --Francisca Goldsmith Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Rees (Lightning Time) sinks his teeth into teenage satire with this witty and original vampire novel. The narrator, 15-year-old Cody Elliot, is rebelling against his family's move from California to New Sodom, Mass., mostly by failing at school. His parents transfer him to what they are told is a public magnet school, Vlad Dracul. With bold, almost hyperbolic humor, the author describes a lavish campus, impossibly erudite students (nearly all of whom are tall, pale and raven-haired) and ludicrously difficult assignments. As the title suggests, the school proves to be almost entirely populated by vampires (or "jenti," the term these vampires prefer), a premise Rees exploits with aplomb. Cody, along with the six other "gadje" (non-jenti) students, has been accepted only to fill out the state-required water polo team (jenti, of course, are deathly afraid of water), and no one cares about his schoolwork-he is to get automatic A's. Unlike his numbskull teammates and their sodden coach, however, Cody refuses to accept his free ride. Friendship with a bullied jenti and a tentative romantic interest in a jenti aristocrat prompt Cody to probe the boundaries of jenti/gadje relations, an effort which, in this author's hands, also translates to an exploration of classic teen tensions between wishing to belong and maintaining individuality. The resolution is marred by some oddities in narrative logic (suddenly vampires are related to selkies), but on balance the story is fluid and fun. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-When Cody Elliot's parents receive his less-than-stellar report card, they decide it's time for a change. His options are Our Lady of Perpetual Homework and Vlad Dracul Magnet School, so the choice, for Cody, is obvious. After his interview with the headmaster at Vlad and meeting Charon, the school's yellow-eyed wolf, Cody knows there is something decidedly different about this place. He also learns why he gets admitted: most of the students are vampires and they will die if they get wet. State standards require a water-polo team, so the school takes in gadge (non-vampire) students for the team. Cody makes fast friends with two classmates by defending one of them against bullies, but eventually the differences in their vampire status cause friction. By the end, however, Cody finds a simple solution to meeting the state standards, and everyone lives happily ever after. Rees has created a very familiar plot in a less-than-familiar setting. The school is well described down to the marble foyer and the librarian who can morph into a wolf to control unruly students and wayward mice. Characters are more caricatures than well-drawn individuals, but that may work to the book's advantage. Some students will relish the familiar plot line and people, and the vampire angle is sure to attract a few readers.-Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

STUCK IN NEW SODOM This all began on the day I came home with straight Fs. F in English, F in math, F in social studies, F in science. I'd even managed to get Fs in gym and homeroom. I was proud of that. My parents, however, weren't. "What is this?" my father raged when I showed him my grades. "A report card," I said. "They put these letters down on it, see, and it tells you what grade you got." "I see the letters," he said. "And the comments with them. 'Cody has turned in no homework at all for nine weeks.' 'Cody has been absent or tardy every day this quarter.' Oh, this one's a classic. 'Cody has spent every day in class trying to prove that Sir Isaac Newton was mistaken about the law of gravity. These experiments have consisted of repeatedly jumping off my desk and flapping his arms. This is distracting to the other students. He has done no other work.' And homeroom. There is no comment from your homeroom teacher, so I suppose I'll have to ask you--how on God's green earth did you manage to flunk homeroom?" "Easy. I never went," I said. "And what's this?" said Dad. "A special note from the principal? Yes. 'Your son has shown the intellectual development of an illiterate hurdy-gurdy grinder and the attention span of his monkey. It is impossible to evaluate his work as he has not done any. He is lazy, sly, and generally useless. I confidently predict he will be spending the rest of his life in ninth grade. I only hope it will be at some other school. Go back to California.'" That last part sounded like good advice to me. But I doubted Dad would take it. We glared at each other in that way we'd developed ever since he'd moved us from home to this dump of a town, New Sodom, Massachusetts. He wouldn't drop his eyes and I wouldn't drop mine. This was Mom's cue to stop making terrified little gasps and whimpers and start making excuses for me. I liked this part. "It's not his fault, Jack," she said. Right. "It's this place." Right again. "He's been miserable ever since we moved here." Three rights. Dad's out. But Dad didn't know he was out. "Beth, he's cutting off his nose to spite his face," he said. "I can't accept that." Yeah. And you can't do anything about it, either. Dad threw back his head like he was about to explain to a jury why only an idiot wouldn't see things his way and give his client what he wanted. "Now, look here, young man," he said. "This move is the best thing that's ever happened to us. I was going nowhere at Billings, Billings and Billings. Jack Elliot was good enough to handle their really tough cases, but not good enough to promote. No, my name wasn't Billings, so that was that. When this opportunity opened up at Leach, Swindol and Twist, I knew it was the best chance I'd ever get to have the career I wanted. So here we are. And here we stay. And you'd better get used to it." Fine. And I will go right on flunking. And you can get used to that. I didn't say it. I only thought it. But I meant it. Dad looked at my report card again. "Homeroom," he said softly. "My son flunked homeroom." Mom came over and put her arms around me. "It won't do any good to get mad, Jack," she said. "These grades are a cry for help. Cody needs something in his life to connect to. He needs something to love." Good idea, Mom. I would love to go home. "Extracurricular activities, perhaps," Dad said. "Working on a road gang after school. Freelance garbage collection. He needs to acquire a skill with which he can support himself, since college will obviously be out of the question." "That's not fair," Mom said. "You dragged us three thousand miles from home to further your career and you expect us both to accept it as though nothing has happened. Well, that's not realistic." Now it was "us." This was sounding pretty good. Better than usual. Maybe enough "us" would get me back to California. I thought about doing the stare again but dropped my head instead. "And another thing," Dad said. "That hat is an obscenity." He must have thought Mom had made a good point. He was changing the subject. "That hat goes," he said. "At least don't wear it in the house." This was my Black Death baseball cap, which I always wore backward because Dad hates baseball caps worn backward. "Don't change the subject," Mom said. "You're not in court now. Cody needs something in his life to care about." "All right, all right," Dad sighed. "Tell us, Cody, can you think of anything you want that would make you happier?" "Tattoos." Dad crumpled up my report card. "I partially agree with you, Beth," he said. "Our son does need something new in his life. He needs a tougher school. Tomorrow I'll start making inquiries." The next day I was so worried that Cotton Mather High started to look almost good to me. The cracked ceilings, the wooden floors that creaked like they were in pain; even the boys' bathroom, which was as dark as a grave and smelled worse. The thought that I might never see them again made them seem almost friendly. No, that wasn't true. It was just fear that, bad as this was, Dad was determined to find someplace even worse. When he came home that night, he had a thin smile on his face and a couple of big manila envelopes in his hand. "Seek and ye shall find," he said. "I have learned that there are not one, but two really hard schools in this excellent town. I've got all the information right here." "You work fast," Mom said, crossing her arms. "It turns out that there are other members of my law firm who have children in each one," Dad told us. "Clancy Kincaid has a son and daughter in Our Lady of Perpetual Homework. He speaks very well of it. And there's a public school that's just as good and even harder to get into--Vlad Dracul Magnet School. Hamilton Antonescu's daughter goes there." Our Lady of Perpetual Homework? My stomach froze. I'd heard about that place. Every kid in town was afraid to be sent there. Excerpted from Vampire High by Douglas Rees All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.