Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Rotten Life by David Lubar

Nathan Abercrombie, 10, was having a really bad day. He was not invited to Shawna's Halloween party and she made a point of telling him in front of the whole fifth grade at lunch. He was picked last for a team in gym. The coach singled him out for his lack of athletic ability and told him he had seen babies crawl faster than he could run. To top it off, he completely bombed on a video game, earning him the nickname "vidiot."

When Abigail, a very nerdy, quiet girl from his class, offers Nathan a way out of his pain, he jumps at the opportunity. She tells him that her scientist uncle has developed an experimental formula that makes anyone who takes it impervious to pain, physical or emotional.

After Nathan takes the formula, he feels better and even notices that his asthma seems to be improving. But then his ability to withstand pain becomes frightening, as he is stabbed with a fork in the face during a food fight and doesn't even feel it. He has no appetite and his asthma is improving because he doesn't seem to need to eat or breathe. The formula has turned him into a zombie.

Abigail's uncle has disappeared and the government is pursuit of him. Can Nathan, Abigail and Nathan's best friend, Mookie, find the missing uncle or come up with an antidote on their own, in time to prevent Nathan from becoming a zombie permanently?

In the process of their search, Nathan comes to some realizations about people, popularity and the social order in middle school that will ring true with many middle schoolers. It may even open the eyes of others.

This is fun, quick read that will appeal particularly to boys of this age, but can be enjoyable for either gender. It is the first in a series, Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie, and the title pretty much answers the question as to whether or not Nathan remains a zombie permanently. It does turn out to be a matter of choice,however, rather than a failure to find a cure in time.  2009

R. Rauch

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