Book: Dead Rules by Randy Russell
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: 2011
Source: Pudd’nhead Books
Summary: You know it’s going to be a bad day when you wake up on the bus to Dead School. That’s where Jana Webster finds herself in the book Dead Rules by Randy Russell. Worse news, she discovers that her always present boyfriend is absent from this world. Jana is convinced that he is dying (ha!) to be with her, but apparently needs a bit of help from a ghost to understand this new situation.
Thoughts: I went to a book discussion and signing with Randy Russell, author of Dead Rules, last night at Pudd’nhead Books, the independent bookstore in Webster Groves. He told ghost stories, talked about writing and publishing, and asked for middle grade book recommendations from a young middle grade writer. Fun book and a fun event! He’ll be in Witchita tonight and Memphis next week according to the schedule on his blog.
Appeal: This is a book for teens and adults who like their humor just a touch on the black side. I loved the concept of Dead School where teenagers go when they die, in their damaged bodies. My favorite is Beatrice who is depicted on Randy Russell’s website, Randy Russell: Dead Rules (be sure to visit his giveaways page), with a lawn dart sticking out of her head. When Jana is introduced, she asks:
“What is it?”
“Yard dart. Church picnic.”
“I didn’t know they still made those.”
“Oh, they don’t,” Beatrice told her. “They’re bona fide collector’s items.”
This book made me laugh but wasn’t so dark that I felt uncomfortable with myself for being amused.
Challenges: Since I purchased this book, it will be Book 7 in my Buy One Book and Read It Challenge.
How do you feel about black humor in books and movies?