Rules for Vampires

Get spooked this winter!

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Pub Date 17 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 2 Nov 2021
Simon and Schuster UK Children's, Simon & Schuster Children's UK

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Straighten your cape and sharpen your claws . . . being a vampire is harder than it looks! The deliciously funny debut from Alex Foulkes, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie.

'A wickedly fun debut, with a wonderfully strong girl hero' Cressida Cowell, Children's Laureate 

There are highs and lows to being a vampire. On one claw, you get cool powers like beastly strength and hypnotism and the ability to GRIMWALK.  On the other claw, however, vampires are bound by the Vampiric Laws: rules to protect the balance between the worlds of the Living and the Undead.  And unfortunately, 11-year-old Leo has just forgotten rule number one . . . The Rules for Vampires don't tell you what to do when you make a ghostly enemy, or accidentally restart an ancient war.  But Leo and her very unusual family are more than up to the job.

A monstrously funny and devilishly dark new adventure from debut talent Alex Foulkes, illustrated throughout by the award-winning Sara Ogilvie, Rules for Vampires is the series that fans of Lemony Snickett and Skulduggery Pleasant will devour for breakfast.

'Fans of fast-paced, well-written gothic romps will devour Rules for Vampires' Laura Ellen Anderson, Phil Earle, bestselling author of When the Sky Falls

‘Deliciously dark, fangtastically feisty and gloriously gothic!' Laura Ellen Anderson, author of Amelia Fang

‘Brilliant! It’s a deadly funny, twisty, gothic romp with the loveliest vampire. Sara Ogilvie’s illustrations are the perfect match’ Jenny McLachlan, bestselling author of Land of Roar

'Wonderfully atmospheric, humorous and touching’ Radiya Hafiza, author of Rumaysa

Straighten your cape and sharpen your claws . . . being a vampire is harder than it looks! The deliciously funny debut from Alex Foulkes, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie.

'A wickedly fun debut, with a...

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ISBN 9781471199554
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed this book, it was a quick, easy and fun read that I could not put down. It was well written and had me laughing out loud with nearly every page. I will definitely be looking for more from this author. I was totally engrossed from start to finish and I finished it in one sitting.

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Perfect for fans of Bethany &THE Monster and Amelie Fang. A quirky & eerie voice that will enchant MG readers

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I can’t do better than share the considered opinion of my twelve year old grandson, who raced through this book and whose verdict is: This is a great book about a vampire named Leo who, on her waxing moon (an event where a young vampire becomes an adult), fails to complete her first kill. As a result she creates a monster. Angry at Leo’s actions the monster goes on a rampage and it is up to Leo and her best friend to save the local forest and the village. This is a great book with an exciting story that I would recommed to a friend.

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So I normally read YA vampire books an I decided to request this one and Im so glad I did. This book was fast paced, funny and so fun. It was really engaging and I read it in about 1 day. I would recommend this book!

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As a child, I had a fabulous non-fiction title about vampires which not only listed facts about the fanged monsters, but also the real-life stories of incredibly sadistic individuals who revelled in taking other people’s blood. I do wonder now whether I had a particularly strong stomach or the gruesome details were sufficiently watered down for me not to fully appreciate just how horrible they were, but either way that interest in the undead has remained with me. I can’t say that I’ve read many books where vampires feature as the protagonists over the past couple of years other than Dracula – which I finally read last year – and I would say that in particular there has been a real lack of titles for children. Possibly this is because writers are worried about upsetting a younger audience, or maybe there are a significant number of adults reluctant to buy titles for their sensitive offspring, but having read this I can hand-on-heart say that at no point is there too much gore and bloodshed, and what there is is tempered very well by the dark humour running through the book. For our protagonist Leo, tomorrow will be a special day – her one hundred and eleventh birthday and time for her to undertake the Hunt: a rite of passage for young vampires. Under strict instructions from her mother that she will not fail, when the appointed time comes Leo sets off alone to the nearby town of Otto’s End to select her victim from the local orphanage. Here, things do not quite go to plan and Leo finds herself returning home not knowing what to do next, but her hand is forced when she is visited by a ghost who demands her help to address the problems she has accidentally caused. Despite relations between the two types of supernatural creature traditionally not being good, the two of them have no option but to work together. Can they collaborate to put everything right before the seventh moon goes down? Will Leo manage to complete the hunt? And what fate awaits her if she can’t? The undead are traditionally very powerful creatures, with a whole range of abilities with which to ensnare their prey. In Leo’s case, she is much more human in nature than the rest of her family and hence much more fallible, whether undertaking her Hunt or using the powers with which she has been blessed. Desperate not to disgrace herself and let down her family – and in particular her mother – she gets herself into further and further bother when she messes up. Not being able to reveal what has happened she has to rely on her common sense and other more human characteristics to try to resolve the difficulties into which she is placed, which makes her all the more interesting, and believable, as the story progresses. Accompanying the text are the wonderful illustrations of Sara Ogilvie, which reminded me of the Nigel Molesworth books by the great Ronald Searle, and vividly bring the characters to life. There are not enough books aimed at upper KS2 which contain pictures in my opinion, and the quality of those included here will go some way to redress the balance. This would make a great read for Year 5 readers upwards, especially once the nights start to draw in more and the evenings cry out for a spooky tale. Huge thanks must go to publisher Simon and Schuster and Net Galley for my advance read, ahead of publication on September 16th. A ghastly 4 out of 5 stars.

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"What a fangtastic story about friendship and about the different forms that a family can take. The story is full of action, drama and humour; providing the young audience with characters that they can really associate with. This is an amazing start to what is a very promising writing career." I have reviewed this for Armadillo book review site and absolutely loved it.

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An utterly fabulous book that is going to be a must-read for any young reader this Halloween. Sara Ogilvie's illustrations are, of course, perfect, and Alex Foulkes's fast-paced storytelling flows from the pages like a dream. A perfect tale for anyone who loves the spooky season (big kids included!).

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This was such a fun book to read. If you're a fan of spooky vampire stories this book is for you! The main character, Leo, is an absolute delight of a character who truly stands out from both other vampire characters and other middle-grade protagonists. She's fun and rebellious but also has an anxious side that shows as she has to take on her Birthnight, where she has to complete a task in order to become a full vampire. And as we learn this is because during her last rite of passage where she lost a leg. Foulkes' writing style is incredibly captivating and insanely inviting to a younger audience. This would be the PERFECT story to read aloud given the humour that is portrayed through the writing. And the Illustratrations match the story so well. The only slight criticism that I have is that I can see some of the names in the book being difficult for children to pronounce. But aside from that, this is definitely worth a read, no matter your age! Many thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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