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Flying Mutant Zombie Rats–A Sure-to-Be Middle Grade Classic

When my sons were in elementary school, they thrived on HARRY POTTER, WALTER THE FARTING DOG and the adventures of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS. Now I can’t help but welcome a book that adds a supernatural twist to the mischievous-guy humor my sons so enjoyed— FLYING MUTANT ZOMBIE RATS.

Flying Mutant Zombie Rats

 

I’m guessing your elementary or middle school sons, nephews or neighbors will get a charge out of this story, but I’ll let you decide. Here are thirteen lines.

  1. Two blocks till the viaducts—under street tunnels that channeled runoff water through the city—and then at least they’d be off the main drag.
  2. They passed two teenagers perched on their front stoop, staring at them.
  3. It probably looked like they were being chased by a mob of crows.
  4. No time to explain.
  5. When they hit the viaduct, Pea and Paco hugged the berm hard, practically riding sideways.
  6. The others rode dead through the three inch-deep water in the middle.
  7. The flock of mutants hissed and squealed as they tried to advance on them.
  8. They got closer, now that the boys couldn’t duck and weave as much.
  9. Pea sped up and led everyone underground.
  10. They left the light from the city behind, relying on a few cracks of light from above to show them the way.
  11. Good thing they’d all taken this path so many times before, they could stick to the dark, watery trail in the center, knowing by heart when and where to turn.
  12. “Where are you going?” Tad yelled. “They’re gaining on us.” He swung a baseball bat he must have had in his saddlebag over his head to ward off a rat flying too close.
  13. “The park!” Pea yelled over his shoulder. He risked a glance past Tad, into the tunnel behind him. Red eyes. Tons of them.

Want to know more? Here’s the back cover blurb.

Summer vacation is almost here! And Pea O’Neil is stoked to try out the new local BMX track which is finally open. He and his gang of friends can ride all summer long!

But when Pea tries a back flip, he unwittingly opens a portal to another dimension and hordes of flying mutant zombie rats are unleashed upon the city. With the help of an otherworldly talking cat sent to help prevent the demise of humankind, Pea and his friends must hunt down the hungry mutants and send them back before the portal closes.

But when the zombie rats attack a neighbor man, the boys have to enlist the help of a graveyard looney and the city’s stray cats. With time running out, Pea and his gang track the monsters to the city’s sewer system. But in the city sewer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s eat…or get eaten.

conference Kat and SL

Author Kat de Falla and her sons wrote this book. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she learned to roller skate, ride a banana seat bike, and love Shakespeare thanks to her high school English teacher. Four years at the UW-Madison wasn’t enough, so she returned to her beloved college town for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is happily employed as a retail pharmacist where she fills prescriptions and chats with her patients. She is married to her soul mate, composer Lee de Falla and raising four kids together ala the Brady Bunch.  

You can contact her at the following links:

Website: www.katdefalla.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkatdefalla

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@katdefalla

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AuthorKatdeFalla

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Kat-de-Falla/e/B00IMG1YA4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

If you’d like check out or buy the book for under a dollar or be a lucky winner follow this link.a Rafflecopter giveaway

And of course, I’d love it if you left a comment.  Thanks.

 

Is it Middle Grade or Young Adult? Thirteen Considerations to Clue a Reader In

Even though I’m a voracious reader and like to read everything from adult mysteries to picture book fantasies, I’m still learning the categories and genre classifications of fiction. Perhaps, like me, you’re a talented but struggling padawan in sorting your literature. I can help. Let’s start by looking at the differences between middle grade (MD) and young adult (YA) stories.

t13-03

 

  1. Typically, MG readers are between eight and twelve years old while YA readers are between thirteen and eighteen.
  2. MG books are between 30,000 and 50, 000 words although some might be as short as 20,000 words. YA novels can be between 50,000 and 75,000 or even 80,000 words; however, fantasy might be longer in either age group because of the world-building required.
  3. Generally MG tales don’t have profanity whereas YA novels might.
  4. The protagonist in a MG story is usually between ten and thirteen. YA tales can feature a hero who is fourteen to eighteen.
  5. Commonly MG adventures are written in third person. YA stories are often told from the first person perspective.
  6. MG novels often end on a hopeful happily-ever-after note, which is not necessarily so in a YA book.
  7. MG heroes focus on the external—what is happening to them, which often means more action and adventure while YA protagonists are more internal, more introspective and in their own heads.
  8. Sexual Attraction is sweet, a first kiss or a crush in MG tales, but it might be more involved and developed. A dating relationship can be explored in a YA story.
  9. MG protagonists think about their friends and family, their own personal bubble while the main characters in YA stories are trying to figure out how they fit in the world outside their family and friends.
  10. MG protagonists often focus on their personal struggles and all the story events are seen in light of how they affect the protagonist whereas YA heroes frequently focus on the struggles of others whether or not those struggles affect them.
  11. Although not always true, a general rule of thumb is a MG novel won’t have graphic violence. A YA novel might.
  12. Often MG readers have to go through a gatekeeper, a librarian, teacher or parent to obtain a story selection. Typically YA readers have more freedom and possibly a driver’s license. This means MG writers might want to consider how an adult guardian might view the MG novel.
  13. It wouldn’t be fair to say that there are no similarities between YA and MG books. Here’s one thing they have in common. The “read-up” phenomenon. Both YA and MG readers want characters that are older than they are. They are eager for glimpses of what life could be a year or a few years from their present.

As I said before I’m still learning to sort my fiction into YA and MG categories. Can you think of any other distinctions that should be mentioned? Please leave a comment.

 

Works Cited

Backes, Laura. “The Difference Between Middle grade & Young Adult.” WriteForKids Writing Childrens Books. 12 Jan. 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://writeforkids.org/2014/01/the-difference-between-middle-grade-young-adult/>.

Lamba, Marie. “The Key Differences Between Middle Grade vs Young Adult.”WritersDigestcom. Writers Digest, 7 Aug. 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-key-differences-between-middle-grade-vs-young-adult>.

Lo, Malinda. “An Introduction to Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction, Part 1: Definitions – SFWA.” SFWA. 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.sfwa.org/2013/02/an-introduction-to-middle-grade-and-young-adult-fiction-part-1-definitions/>.

Rosen, Judith. “Middle Grade and YA: Where to Draw the Line?” PublishersWeekly.com. 18 July 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/63358-middle-grade-and-ya-where-to-draw-the-line.html>.