The Hitchhiking Vampire

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After a farcical birthday dinner sends their flimflam father to jail, Jamie and her brother, Luke, are faced with the task of driving from California to Utah. With only $30 and an old clunker of a car, the trip promises to be exciting. They pick up a hitchhiker named Hank, a vampirish-looking old codger who happens to have a paper sack full of money, which they promptly bet on a baseball game. They lose, and after many adventures, the three manage to recover Hank's money and solve all problems. Mooser's one-liners and comic observations pack a punch, but the story and characters seem thin. This novel just misses the hilarity for which it aims. Ages 10-14. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-- Hitchhiking? Not really. Vampire? Definitely not. But to 13-year-old brash and stubborn Jamie and her cautious older brother Luke, the old prospector they pick up in the hot California desert looks like a vampire because of his jagged teeth, white hair, and red pistachio nut-stained mouth. His name is Hank, and he's on his way to Las Vegas to double his life savings--$12,000. After their inebriated father was jailed for punching a restaurant maitre d', Jamie and Luke set out for Utah in their old car to return to their mother and depressed grandfather (also an old prospector). The two agree to drive Hank to Las Vegas, and there Jamie convinces the old man to change his all-or-nothing bet from the roulette wheel to the San Diego Padres, Jamie's favorite baseball team (filled here with fictitious players). In the next 24 hours, they lose the bet, then win the bet but lose the ticket, then find the ticket and get held up by a gambler, and finally save themselves and most of the money when Jamie improvises on an old trick her father had perfected. This is an easy-to-read fantasy/farce/satire that's saturated with silly humor and moves with lightening speed from one implausible episode to another. For a story that prides itself on surprises, Hank's final decision to travel with Jamie and Luke to Utah and use his money to go into business with their grandfather whom he hasn't even met is too neat and predictable. But Jamie's Blossom Culp-like spunkiness will grab young readers' attention early and satisfy their pre-teen daydreams about independence and heroics. --Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440404774
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/1991
  • Pages: 144
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.61 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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