cover image Thirsty


M. T. Anderson. Candlewick Press (MA), $8.99 (237pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-3895-5

Anderson, M.T. Thirsty. Candlewick. 1997. reprint. 2008. 249p. pap. ~In Chris's small Massachusetts town, vampires are hunted by lynch mobs and killed in public executions. Chris is much more interested in getting a girl to go out with him. Then with the approach of his 16th birthday, puberty takes a turn for the worse and he discovers, to his horror, that he is thirsty for human blood. Why It Is Great: From the first paragraph, Anderson's nonchalant mix of horror and humor tells you this is not your average teen vampire novel. ""In the spring, there are vampires in the wind.... My father claims we have them this year because it was a mild winter, but he may be thinking of tent caterpillars."" Later, Chris will tear at his own forearm for sustenance and in the very next scene attempt to explain his twisted braces to his orthodontist. Why It Is for Us: The uncompromising conclusion asks what price we are willing to pay for our humanity. Chris is left with two ugly choices: starve as a vampire or give in to his nature, knowing he will be hunted and executed..