December 8, 2015
Welcome to Day 2 of #MGRewind week!
Celebrate Middle Grade reads with
Sharing his memories as an MG reader, we welcome
SCOTT CRAVEN, author of the
DEAD JED SERIES.
Come back everyday this week where we’ll feature another author, and
be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.
From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead!
When I was 10, two of my best friends were my beanbag chair and my bookshelf. Those chairs (imagine a beanbag large enough to cradle a person) have largely disappeared for various reasons, but I’m sure parents had something to do with it since the chairs had a habit of bleeding little white foam pellets impossible to eradicated. And even bookshelves are shrinking thanks to electronic readers.
Back then, I could spend all afternoon lost in a book, my body slowly losing feeling as it sunk deeper and deeper into the beanbag. I often finished books in a day, and one of my favorite series involved a crime-solving trio of boys (MG books were very sexist back then). It was a knockoff of the more famous Hardy Boys, and I still have each of those 15 volumes. Every now and then I crack them open and enjoy a scent as musty as the prose.
They may not have been the best stories every written, but I loved each one of them. They launched me on a lifetime of reading, which eventually led me to write MG books of my own. Sometimes I will imagine a 10-year-old boy or girl nestled into a favorite chair, cracking open Dead Jed, and losing track of time as well as feeling in their extremities.
Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.
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