Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: iDrakula (Black)

AUTHOR: Bekka Black
SERIES: none
PAGES: 160
ISBN: 9781402244650
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks, Inc.
SOURCE: My library
GENRE: Horror; Epistolary
OVERALL RATING: Highly recommended
RECOMMENDED FOR: HS, MS librarians should read it first if they have concerns about sexual content and language

SUMMARY: A fresh twist on Stoker's horror classic, iDrakula reintroduces familiar Dracula characters (Jonathan, Mina, Lucy, and Van Helsing) as 21st century college students. Told entirely through text message, email, and web browsers, iDrakula roots itself in the original story while also giving the reader plenty of surprises.

WHAT I LIKED: Telling a story in text message and social media formats is a trend I'd like to see much more often in books for young adults. My students ask for books like this all the time, and I am constantly researching the newest publications, looking for this format.

I really love how Black takes a classic story and makes it current, edgy, and fun. It is a short, quick read that is in hot-demand in my library. One eighth grade student even requested Stoker's Dracula after reading this one. Even if they do not read Dracula right away, iDrakula plants a seed for students who may read Dracula in college. I hope more authors will take a cue from Black and renew interest in the classics with this fun, new writing style. Frankenstein, anyone? Shakespeare?

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: While it did not bother me one bit, Dracula purists won't like the last half of the book. Students hoping to save time and skip Stoker's Dracula will fail their test if they only read iDrakula.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY (GRADES 6-8): We have it, and it sees lots of checkouts and holds. Girls particularly like it and have given me tons of positive feedback about it. Middle school librarians should read it before deciding to add it to the library as there is some sexual content and language.