With understandable difficulty, a sixth-grader with a mighty secret tries to earn acceptance from both his human schoolmates and his undead family.
Motivated by the sheer challenge of it all, Edgar is resolutely bucking the scorn and (historically justified) fear of his immortal clan to attend middle school and even hang out with human friends. Along with steering clear of garlic and crosses (though not sunlight, thanks to Sun-B-Gone potion concocted by his chemist great-grandmother, Morticia LaBelle von Dead), this means not responding to the schoolwide campaign of vicious harassment that vegan classmate Gertie is orchestrating after getting a gander at his blood-and–raw-meat lunches. But when Edgar does forget himself for a moment and flashes his fangs—suddenly he’s cool! As is her custom, Moss lays out Edgar’s diary entries in a legible “hand-printed” type, and she intersperses small line drawings of the characters with labels or side comments. She also provides Edgar with a truly ingenious ploy that both takes the wind out of Gertie’s sails and, in deference to the urgent demands of his horrified family, quashes the rumors of his vampiredom.
Crisis averted, at the end, Edgar is left looking ahead with fresh confidence to seventh grade. Happily, a planned sequel will allow readers to follow him there. (recipe for “Chocolate Blood Pudding”) (Light fantasy. 10-12)