Middle School Bites

Middle School Bites


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Tom is desperate to fit in at school, but he's hungry and howling, not to mention half dead. Blame it on the vampire - and the werewolf - and the zombie - in this monstrously funny new series from SpongeBob SquarePants head writer Steven Banks.

"Fast! Funny! Fresh!" - Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series

"What are you waiting for? Open this book right now!" - Tom Angleberger, New York Times best-selling author of the Origami Yoda series

Thanks to a series of unfortunate bites, eleven-year-old Tom is a triple threat: he's a Vam-Wolf-Zom. And just in time for the first day of middle school. So much for his Invisible Tom Plan. He never thought to make a What If I Turn Into A Vampire Werewolf Zombie Plan. Maybe it's time for a Run Away and Live Somewhere Else Plan?

With the help of his irrepressible best friend, Zeke, Tom tries to accept his future. Zeke thinks being a Vam-Wolf-Zom sounds EXCELLENT! (Zeke thinks everything sounds EXCELLENT!) At least he'll be able to stand up to the sixth-grade bully. The question is will the rest of Hamilton Middle School accept the Vam-Wolf-Zom, too?

Tom's toothsome saga is illustrated with clever, cartoon-style art on every spread. Created by an Emmy-nominated writer for SpongeBob, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, and CatDog, this new series is perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Last Kids on Earth. EXCELLENT!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823445431
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Series: Middle School Bites Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 140,035
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Steven Banks is a writer who received an Emmy nomination as head writer on SpongeBob SquarePants, wrote for The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron and CatDog, has appeared on TV shows like Penn & Teller's Fool Us, attended Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College, wrote a book called King of the Creeps, co-created the international theater sensation Shadowland, and lives in California with his wife. He was once bitten by a donkey, but did not turn into a Donkey Man.

Mark Fearing has never been bitten by a werewolf, a zombie, or a vampire. But he was bitten by the creative bug which is far more dangerous. Books he's illustrated include The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot, by Margaret McNamara, and Ben Franklin's in My Bathroom!, by Candace Fleming, as well as The Great Thanksgiving Escape, which he also wrote. He lives in Oregon with his family.

Read an Excerpt

I went upstairs to my room in a daze. I closed the door and sat down on my bed. I couldn’t believe what I was thinking.
It was crazy.
It was unbelievable
It made no sense.
It was impossible.
But . . . it explained everything.
I hadn’t been bitten by a regular bat or a big dog or cut my hand on a zombie dummy’s teeth.
I had been bitten by . . .
A vampire bat.
An actual werewolf.
And a real zombie.

I fainted for the second time that day.


I woke up on the floor. For a second, I thought to myself, “Okay. That was just a dream. A really, really, really, long, super-realistic dream that lasted two days.” Then I touched the bite on my neck and looked down at the bite on my ankle and the cut on my hand. It wasn’t a dream.
It was real.
It explained the crazy stuff that had been happening.
That’s why I was hungry all the time.
That’s why the rare hamburger and rare steak tasted so good.
That’s why I couldn’t see myself in mirrors.
That’s why I was so pale.
That’s why my eyes were red and watery.
That’s why Muffin growled at me.
That’s why the sunlight coming through the window in class hurt.
That’s why Ms. Heckroth’s blood smelled good.
That’s why the garlic on Zeke’s pizza made me feel sick.
That’s why I could run so fast in Phys Ed.
That’s why, when the sun came out, I got sick and weak and fainted.
That’s why I howled in Choir.
That’s why I could pedal my bike so fast.
I was a vampire . . . a werewolf . . . and a zombie.
All three. I was a mutt. Like Muffin.
So what exactly was I?
A Vam-Wolf-Zom?
I did not have a What If I Turn into a Vampire-Werewolf-Zombie Plan.


It was official. I had had the worst luck of any eleven-year-old kid in the history of eleven-year-old kids. There was only one thing I could do. I called Zeke and told him everything.
There was a long pause and then he said, “EXCELLENT!”
He totally believed me right away. I knew he would.
“T-Man, I am on my way! See you in six minutes!”
Six minutes later I heard the doorbell ring. I could smell Zeke as soon as Mom opened the door. He’d had tacos for dinner. I had explained on the phone to Zeke that I’d told my Mom we had already studied that day at his house, because I needed an excuse to go to the gas station. Zeke kind of got mad that I went to the gas station without him, but he never stays mad for long.
I heard him downstairs saying, “Hi, Mrs. Marks! Tom and I are gonna study some more. We’re going to get straight A’s in all our classes this year!”
Zeke is so bad at making stuff up. Now Mom would expect me to get straight A’s.
I heard Zeke running up the stairs and down the hall. He opened my door and started to come in . . . and then he stopped in the doorway and hesitated.
“What are you doing?” I said. “Get in here and lock the door!”
He looked a little worried. “Are you gonna . . . bite me?” 
“You sure?”
He still didn’t come in. “Are you gonna try to suck my blood?”
“No! Gross! That’s disgusting! Get in here!”
Zeke stayed in the doorway. “Are you gonna try to eat me?”
He shrugged. “Just asking.”
Zeke came in and closed the door. I’d never seen him so excited. He was practically dancing.
“Calm down,” I said in a serious voice. “Okay, Zeke. Listen to me. The most important thing: You cannot tell ANYBODY about this. You’ve got to swear.”
Zeke raised his hand and said, “I solemnly, mega-promise-swear, that I will not tell anyone—even if they torture me—that my best friend, Tom Marks, also known as T-Man, is a vampire . . . and a werewolf . . . and a zombie!”
Zeke started dancing around the room again. “T-Man, this is the most awesomely excellent thing ever! This is so cool!”
“Are you crazy?” I said. “This is horrible! This is awful! This is the worst thing ever!”
Zeke looked at me, confused. “It is?”
“Yes! I don’t want to be a vampire and a werewolf and a zombie!”
“You don’t? I would LOVE to be a vampire and a werewolf and—Hey! Can I call you VWZ-Man, now?”
I could tell he was disappointed. But he always bounces back fast.
T-Man! I almost forgot!” Zeke reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me. “T-Man, you gotta remember some important stuff. I made a list on the way over. Keep it in your pocket at all times.”
I looked at the list.
1.      Stay out of the sun.
2.      Don’t let anybody stab you in the heart with a wooden stake.
3.      Don’t let anybody shoot you with a silver bullet.
4.      Don’t let anybody chop off your head.
5.      Don’t let anybody stick something sharp into your brain.
“Uh, thanks, Zeke,” I said, and put the list in my pocket. “What am I gonna do now?”
Zeke raised his right arm and pointed his finger in the air. “To the Internet!” 

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