|illustration by Adam McCauley|
“It’s no fun having your heart ripped from your body, slammed to the floor, and stomped into a puddle of quivering red mush. It’s even less fun when it happens three times in one afternoon.
So begins David Lubar’s My Rotten Life: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie. You think fifth grade is tough? Try going to school after a science lab accident turns you into a half-dead zombie.
Anyone who has read David Lubar’s funny and quirky books has to assume that he has a quick and acerbic wit. Anyone who has met David Lubar in real life knows it. The author of thirty books for young readers and teens, he thrives on (s)wordplay, wielding words like an épée—poking, prodding and feeling for the funny bone.
Today, David Lubar visits “Getting Into Character” to reflect on choosing one of his favorite characters in children's literature.
|Freddy the Pig: books by Walter R. Brooks, |
illustrations by Kurt Wiese
While all of this is true – I loved that series as a kid – there’s a problem. I just told you everything I remember about Freddy from my dim, ancient days as a voracious young reader. I can’t recall anything else about the little porker. Happily, I’ve had two more shots at spending time with kid’s books since then: Once, for a decade or so, as a parent reading bed-time and other-time stories to my daughter, and now, for several decades, as a writer for young readers. So I have no excuses. I’ve met slews of characters recently enough that the impressions linger.
There’s also the problem of whether to be honest, or to try to be impressive. When I see one of those READ posters, with a celebrity holding a book, it’s usually pretty obvious whether we are in the presence of book love or ego (War and Peace? Really? Yeah, right.). I could pick the Mad Hatter, and cite his philosophical statements. That would make me look deep. Or I could dig up some obscure character nobody has heard of, to make myself look like a kidlit expert. But I want to keep this authentic.
| From In the Night Kitchen,|
by Maurice Sendak, 1970
Thanks for stopping by, David. I’m looking forward to reading Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales!
David Lubar’s thirty books for teens and young readers include the novels Hidden Talents and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie. His comic zombie story, My Rotten Life, was recently optioned by Minds Eye Entertainment. His popular Weenies story collections have sold more than two million copies. Each book contains thirty stories that have been described as “Twilight Zone for kids.” The newest book, Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales, shows the horrors that can happen when you wear the wrong hat to the bus stop, forget to clean the litter box, play a practical joke with a coffin, or spend too much time on the phone.
To learn more about David Lubar and his work‚ including his latest book, Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales, check out these links:
Web site: www.davidlubar.com