the best friends you’ll never have

After last week’s mess, this book was a welcome respite. Ma and Pa Dracula seems to be on the same grade level as, or one above, Little Sister. It even has pictures! There are no chances for an important issue to be glossed over or handled clumsily.

I’d like to address one thing, though, Over on the Boards, where I’m also writing about these books every week, there was a remark to the effect that it seems like I’m not enjoying these books. I will write more in depth about this in my wrap-up post, but I am enjoying myself. It’s not just not the same as reading these books when you’re a kid, I guess, or even as an adult who read them as a kid and has some feelings of nostalgia. Also, since I’m blogging about them, I am looking at them with a critical eye. This is fun for me because I am a nerd.

OK, onto the book. The book is about a boy named Jonathan. He lives with her parents and his tutor/governor, Mr. Saginaw, and he knows no other people. His family sleeps during the day and is active at night. Jonathan has been isolated his whole life, and believes that the things that he has read about in books, like TV, are imaginary. His family also moves around a lot. One day, while his parents are sleeping, he sneaks out of the house and meets a girl named Tobi, and he discovers that his parents have been lying to him and everyone else is awake during the day.

His parents, despite raising him in such an odd, isolating way, are pretty easygoing and agree to let him go to regular school. They also reveal that they are vampires, and instead of going to work, they turn into bats and seek out blood banks. That is why they move so much–once a blood bank starts getting suspicious, or the supply runs low, they have to move on.

Honestly, I don’t have any major complaints about this book. I thought it was cute. I liked Tobi, who is a tomboy in the grand tradition of Harriet M. Welsch. There are parts, such as his adjustment to school, that could have been done with more depth, but since this is a book for younger kids, I think that it’s fine the way it is. I also like the ending–the blood bank runs low, and Jonathan realizes that even though he likes his school and his friends, he has to move on. I thought that was a better ending than Jonathan being happy at his school and staying forever.

Random thoughts:

  • The only thing that really bugged me is that once again, Ann just did not bother to bust out the Wikipedia page.

    “Think about our names,” said Pa. “They tell part of the story. For instance, our last name is an anagram. Switch around the letters in ‘Primave’ and you get ‘vampire.’ And my first name,” Pa went on proudly, “is Vladimir. I named myself for Vlad the Impaler, a horrible Romanian ruler of the fifteenth century. His father was Vlad the Devil. ‘Devil’ can be translated into the word ‘Dracul.’”

    Or perhaps it’s because Pa named himself before encyclopedia were around. Vlad the Impaler’s name was not “Vladimir.” In Romanian, “Vlad” alone is a name, and he was “Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia.” He also often signed his name as “Wladislaus Dragwlya, vaivoda partium Transalpinarum.” So you can MAYBE make a case for “Vladislav,” but not “Vladimir.”

  • At the beginning, Jonathan speaks without contractions. I was afraid it was going to be like Little Sister. But no, it was just a way to signify how formal he was compared to a regular kid who was not raised by vampires.

    External links:
    I didn’t find any this week. If you’ve blogged about it, let me know in the comments.

    Next week, I will read Eleven Kids, One Summer, and this experiment will be over. I do have something else planned for July, though, so stay tuned.

  • 3 Responses To This Post

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    BSCAG said, June 18th, 2014 at 1:33 am

    I’ve never even heard of this book! Thanks for recapping it; it sounds interesting.

    greer said, June 18th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    @BSCAG it’s a fun book and available as an ebook for less than 5$ on amazon :)

    BSCAG said, June 20th, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I’ll keep my eyes peeled at used bookstores. :)

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