Jed is not your typical middle school geek. He is, to use the politically correct term, "cardiovascularly challenged." And though his parents attempted to shield him from the implications of being different for as long as they could, when Jed was eight and at a friend's sister's birthday party, he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the Big Talk-and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad. Now as a target of Robbie, the supreme school bully, and his pack of moronic toadies, seventh grade at Pine Hollow Junior High is rapidly becoming unbearable. From being stuffed in a trash can as "dead meat" and into a trophy case as the bully's "prize," to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys' room and a cigarette put in it to try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed's had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. (Jed's always losing body parts, but luckily, with a good stapler and some duct tape, he's back in action.) But Jed finds that it's awesome what you can do when you're already dead! He goes from underground underdog to over-the-top hero and proves you don't have to be living to have a lot of heart. For every kid who's ever felt different, been picked on, or kicked out, this is a heartwarming and funny story about surviving middle school, making friends, and keeping your limbs.
About the Author
Scott Craven is a seasoned journalist, storyteller, and weekly pet columnist. He lives in Phoenix.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
The minute I saw the cover and read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was going to be awesome! Just saying it was awesome feels like an understatement. It was way better than just awesome. Dead Jed was fun, hilarious, charming, evocative and impossible to put down! I devoured it in less than two days, and now I can’t wait for the sequel. I even went back and reread a couple of chapters and passages to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. But the best part in all this was that my fourteen-year-old son enjoyed this book as much as I did. I read my ARC copy out loud to him and we roared with laughter at the exact same time every time something side-splitting happened in the story. Trust me when I say there are tons of highly amusing moments in this gem of a MG novel. Never before have I read anything like it. After finishing the book, my son told me that Dead Jed ranks right up there with his favorite series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, of which he has read every book in the series thus far. Oh and, if you’ve watched Shaun of the Dead (and enjoyed it as much as I have) you’ll quickly get the spot-on comparison between this book and that movie. One of my absolute favorite lines in this book (and which I’m guessing will become a favorite of many readers) was when Jed very calmly replied: “I’m brain dead, not stupid.” You just can’t miss the humor in that...coming from a zombie...or should I say the “cardiovascularly challenged”? And speaking of zombie, I have to say that Jed is a phenomenal character. He’s completely lovable. In my opinion what makes him such a memorable character is his intelligence, his endurance, and his razor-sharp wit. For a dead guy, Jed rocks! I will never look at the living dead the same way again. Jed is the essence of the unlikely hero. He is not the only fully developed character, though. His parents (two of the coolest adults ever!), his best friend, Luke, and his almost-girlfriend, Anna, are all extraordinary characters in their own right, and each one of them adds something heartfelt and sincere to this novel. Robbie the bully, as unlikeable as he is, balanced Jed out perfectly as Jed’s weaknesses and strengths plays off against Robbie’s merciless taunting and harassment. I appreciated that the author spent as much time developing Robbie’s character as he did the rest of the characters, because Robbie obviously plays a pivotal role in the development of the story. Also, I love when the villain isn’t a caricature of every typical evil mastermind featured in popular movies, books and tv programs. I loved that Robbie’s actions were unpredictable, but yet stayed true to the familiar actions of bullies everywhere. In his own way, Robbie is also a stand-out character, and besides, he isn’t done with “Zomboy” yet. Apart from phenomenal characters, Dead Jed is a story with depth, and includes many life lessons and truths young and old will be able to identify with. The issue of bullying is definitely the running theme here, but I appreciated that the author didn’t tiptoe around it or glorify it any way. Jed, being a zombie and all, is clearly different in countless ways from every other kid at school which makes him the ultimate target for bullies and those who aren’t classified as bullies, but who are less tolerant of a class mate they judge based on appearance. Simultaneously it showcases that intolerance has no age restriction and how adults are also guilty of this, even if more so between the lines. The most heartfelt moments for me were how his parents dealt with their son being different and how they encouraged him to use his differences to his advantage. As many times as I rolled with laughter throughout this book, there were just as many times I had to wipe away a tear or wanted to hug Jed and praise him for embracing his individuality. The author did an outstanding job with not allowing Jed’s parents to coddle him, but still remain sympathetic to his feelings. I felt that zombie was used as a metaphor for being different whether it is by race, culture, religion, social standing or anything that makes a person stand out from the rest. It subtly, but clearly, highlighted how ignorant, stereotypical and narrow-minded people of all ages can be. I also loved how insightfully each group in the middle school hierarchy was described and where Jed fit into all of that. Other elements I enjoyed were the frequent references and comparisons to popular zombie movies, tv shows and paraphernalia; and one of my many favorite scenes included the one at the school dance with Michael Jackson’s song Thriller. For a MG novel the romance between Jed and Anna is rather noteworthy. Not only is it sweet and makes you go “awwww”, it also has substance to it. I’ve read YA novels where the romance wasn’t nearly as touching as the first-love between these two seventh graders. The ending also had a nice twist I never saw coming. So, what more does this book offer? Well, there are the clever puns and the narrative perfectly suited for younger readers, but at the same time it won’t make older readers feel like they’re reading a children’s book. Right after the acknowledgements you’ll find a preview of the first chapter of book two. It also includes a fun zombie quiz titled, You Don’t Know Dead! For awesome zombie games, quizzes, facts, and questions, you can visit the author’s website right here. I’m entirely convinced this series is going to be as big and popular as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, if not more. It might be aimed at middle grade readers, but I will highly and happily recommend it to readers aged 9 to 99! As soon as this book is available in print, I’m getting a copy. This is undoubtedly a book I want displayed on my son’s bookshelf because I haven’t been this excited about a children’s series since Harry Potter - though these two can’t be compared as both are vastly different and in a league of its own. Dead Jed shines in its uniqueness and I, for one, am excitedly looking forward to the rest of this series which can be enjoyed by boys and girls!
Dead Jed delivers the Sandbox meets Warm Bodies with flare, sensitivity, yet hilarity that gets you right where it counts. Middle Grade humor at its finest. Let me start with the title. Really? What could be more awesome or more enticing then DEAD JED and this cover art? LUV. So the entire book is written with phrase like cardiovascularly-challenged or meatstick or Dude, that pass was dead-on ... Get it? The voice is great, totally age appropriate and funny. At times, Jed even has a dry sense of humor. Mostly, he pokes at himself. The kid RAWKS! Honestly, there were times I wanted to reach inside the pages of the book and squeeze him to death. Well, if he wasn't already dead. Such a sweet boy and refreshing change from either the shy-geek boy or the swank, dark-haired boy. Don't get me wrong, though. Other than the his-heart-doesn't-beat thing, he's a normal middle grader. He daydreams about the future, isn't all that excited about school, is desperate to avoid the main bully on campus, gets annoyed and angry, and, of course, he thinks about girls. But, he figures with a little duct tape and staples he'll be all set. Seriously. Limbs fall off every once in a while for a zombie. And this kid comes prepared. I'm chuckling as I'm writing this because it's told in such a silly way, I feel it's appropriate for this age group. No gore or anything of that nature. It's normal for this world of a zombie kid living among humans. Jed's view of his world is unique, for obvious reasons. But then again, not so obvious. He's a thinker, a dreamer. And, although he has wished to be 'normal', he comes to see the value in who he is and how he can influence others. That doesn't mean things get any easier for him, just that he gets it. Through all this hilarity, Craven addresses such issues as bullying, self-esteem, and family. All of which kids of this age group must address. Each is dealt with through plausible scenes; frankly, a few I remember from my own middle grade years - minus the zombie kid. Jed is clever, but genuine and thinks of others. I love how Craven points out that most in Jed's position would scoff at society; instead, Jed embraces people. Even the bully who relentlessly badgers him. He learns to trust other kids, and in turn, teaches them a thing or two about themselves.
3.5 Stars 'Dead Jed' is a funny and smart middle grade novel that follows the mishaps and adventures of Jed, who just happens to be a zombie. Like most middle school kids, Jed has to worry about homework, bullies, and parents - but with the added problem of losing limbs on a regular basis. Jed is having a particularly hard time with a bully named Robbie whose favorite pastime is to torment Jed and stuff him into various garbage cans. Jed and his best friend Luke decide it's time that they get their revenge. This was a fun and fast-paced paranormal novel that was an easy read. The writing was very conversational and flowed naturally, so it engages the reader right from the start. Jed is a great main character for the story. Most readers don't have a zombie as a main character in a book, let alone a protagonist, but Jed's condition is only part of who he is, and the reader learns to appreciate other aspects of his personality other than the fact that he's a zombie. Jed faces lots of normal problems that kids deal with daily, so he's easy to identify with for the reader. The story was light-hearted with lots of witty remarks and fun situations that will have younger readers highly entertained. Jed's story may be one of a normal guy getting through life as a seventh grader, but it's made all the more interesting because he's a zombie. Putting that twist on the plot really makes this book original and fans of middle grade paranormal fiction will love it! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.