Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What Would U Do If U Went To School With A ZOMBIE Middle Grader?

MMGM aka Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday was created by Shannon Messenger to give middle grade reads the attention they deserve. I'm joining in, today. If you'd like to see more MG books, Click HERE to follow other participants.

Thanks to MaryAnn at Chapter by Chapter for doing such an amazing job organizing this book tour. It's been quite a ride for Jed. I know that I, for one, am thrilled to see him out and about! FYI: you'll see a review for Jed's story. Feel free to skip down and meet Jed personally, first. He is such a hoot. I wouldn't want you to miss him. Plus, his creator is offer up a great giveaway!

Dead Jed delivers the Sandbox meets Warm Bodies with flare, sensitivity, yet hilarity that gets you right where it counts.

DEAD JED: Adventures of a Middle Grade Zombie by Scott Craven

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Release Date: October 2013
Pages: 214

Favorite Lines/Passage: As we made it to the door and I reached forward to open it, it came toward me as if kicked from the other side. The handle smashed into my fingers, and I wondered if anyone else heard the sharp crack of bones breaking. 

Not the way I wanted to start things. I quickly straightened my fingers with my left hand, glancing down to make sure they were pointing in the same direction. And they were, or the most part. 

Description: Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed's not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being 'different' for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend's sister's birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.

From being stuffed in a filled 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 (Jed's always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he's back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed's had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it's awesome what you can do when you're already dead!


My Splats: 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. 

Hey Jed! I'm beyond thrilled you've come to visit. Would you tell the Alleywalkers a bit about you?
I'm Jed Rivers. A lot of people call me Dead Jed, which is technically incorrect. I'm actually a zombie, but Undead Jed apparently doesn't roll of the tongue as well. And "Dead Jed" often rolls off the tongue of Robbie, an eighth-grade bully whose mission statement is "Destroy all zombies, even if there is only one." Not that Robbie is hard-working enough to have a mission statement, since he's spent most of his educational career in middle school. Some say he had a driver's license, but again, that implies effort. And the only time he shows effort is when it comes to making my life miserable, as if having limbs fall off is not already a challenge. I really hope Robbie doesn't see this. Oh wait. He hates to read.

Yeah, I met Robbie throughout your pages. Don't think you need to worry about him reading. What's your world like on a daily basis?
Being undead is not all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, when you play "Pull my finger," you can scare the heck out of people. While that's fun, it would be nice to shake hands with a girl I really like and not have the hand come off. You know how embarrassing it is? Then you have to put up with all the puns when she gives it back to you. "Looks like you need a hand," or "You are hands-down the weirdest kid I know." Still, being undead is pretty cool. It's a great way conversation starter, and I am the death of any party when I launch into Michael Jackson's "Thriller" zombie dance. And it takes me all of two seconds to get ready for "Dress Like a Zombie" day at school. There hasn't been one yet, but I'm still hoping.

What's been your biggest life challenge. I mean, aside from Robbie?
Convincing people zombies mean them no harm. Hollywood has made it so difficult. When World War Z opened, I distributed leaflets outside the theater, a list differentiating zombie myth from zombie fact. For example, zombie myth No. 32 -- our closets contain nothing but shredded, blood-soaked clothes. Fact is, I wash my jeans and T-shirts every week, and pride myself on my fashion sense. And zombie myth No. 15 -- our body odor is that of rotting corpses. No way. I smell like any other teen boy. So it's a combination of rotting corpse and body spray.

Eau'De Jed, isn't that what Robbie said? lol So, Inquiring minds want to know: share your crush? (Remember, I read the book...)
Anna. She is this goth girl who is really cute. I'm hoping to ask her to the school dance, but I am still trying to figure out how to do it in a way that does not involve actually talking to her. I know how a face-to-face meeting would go. 
"Hi Anna, would" ... there goes my left leg ... "you like to go" ... right arm falls away ... "to the dance?" ... and the right leg joins the left, leaving me twisting on the ground. And Anna saying, "I'm going to wait for a guy who doesn't fall to pieces when he's around me."
And it will bother me the rest of the day wondering if she meant that as a pun, or merely making an observation?

I know you're serious, sweetheart, but you honestly crack me up! One last question - what do you eat?
I love finger food. Do not confuse that with "fingers as food." Yes, I am a zombie, and yes, I am a carnivore. But I prefer burgers to brains, and I am sensitive enough to stereotypes that I prefer my chicken skinless. Last thing I need showing up on Instagram is a photo of me pulling the skin off a drumstick with my teeth, with the caption, "Flesh-eating zombie on the loose."

There are so many more things I want to ask Jed, but I've kept him here long enough. Feel free to find out more about him in his book by purchasing your own copy or entering this giveaway for a chance to WIN 

  • ONE of 3 ebook copies of Dead Jed by Scott Craven (International)
  • OR One (1) signed paperback copy of Dead Jed by Scott Craven (US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

I'm going extremely LAME on you, all, but ... what would you do if you went to middle school with a zombie? (Hee...let's see what answers we get. I'll share. PROMISE...)
 photo Sheri2.png


  1. Sounds really funny! I bet it does well.

  2. Ha! My son would have LOVED this when he was a little younger. Sounds perfect for the age group.

    1. It was much different than the norm in middle grade lately, I think. Can't hurt to read a variety!

  3. This sounds like a fun zombie book. And so awesome it's for middle graders. I agree with you that books like this aren't the norm.


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