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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (25 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531634X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765316349
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.2 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,623,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Ten-year-old Nathan Abercrombie is having a really bad day. First, Shawna Lanchester, the prettiest girl in his class, doesn't invite him to her party. Then he gets picked last in gym class. Things couldn't get any worse...until he gets doused wit

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By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Never say that you are having a bad day. Nothing can compare to the day Nathan has had!

When he wants to just get rid of his bad feelings, the new girl, Abigail, suggests that her uncle has a magic potion in his lab that can do the trick! So Nathan, his best friend, Mookie, and Abigail head off to the lab to get the "Hurt Be Gone." But at the lab, Nathan is splashed by some strange liquid and soon, he starts to feel weird.

When he reports to Abigail that his body doesn't feel right and things are happening, they try to go back to the lab. However, they soon discover that Abigail's uncle had to run from the law, and he can no longer help them.

Nathan is dejected, but goes on with his life. When he gets poked in the nose with a fork, and no blood comes out, he knows that he's in serious trouble. He also starts to give off a foul stench. It's Mookie who discovers that Nathan isn't digesting his food anymore and helps him in a creative way to relieve himself of his stomach contents.

Abigail is certain she can help Nathan, so the three begin a quest for the ingredients Abigail will require. The three friends hit the aquarium, the woods, and even manage an invitation to Shawna's (the popular girl's) party to find the things they need.

MY ROTTEN LIFE is a story that will certainly appeal to boys. With lots of gross talk and body parts falling off, they will be giggling and enraptured until the final page. Listening to the story as an audio book will add more appeal, because the narrators are able to read the descriptions in vivid detail. Read by both male and female voices, the story moves quickly as Nathan struggles to retain his humanity.

MY ROTTEN LIFE is the perfect story for young readers to pick up, especially during the Halloween season.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great Light Summer Read for Kids! 10 Aug. 2009
By aaa-Pam - Published on
Format: Paperback
Some days just stink.

Nathan Abercrombie is having the worst day of his life. To say that it was horrible would be an understatement. First off, he's diss'd by the prettiest girl in school-- the one he just happens to have a huge crush on. Then he's chosen last during gym. And then... and then, in a foolish effort to ease the heartache of being stuck forever at the losers' table, he gets talked into visiting a mad scientist, where he accidentally gets doused with an experimental fluid that leaves him dying, one inch at a time.

I won't disclose the rest of the plot (nor the twist at the end), but suffice it to say that Nathan and Abigail (the mad scientist's neice) and Nathan's best friend Mookie, end up on a hunt for a cure for Nathan's zombie-like condition. A hunt that teaches them quite a few life lessons.

If you've got a kid who has a funny bone and who likes a little gross humor, point them at My Rotten Life.

It's a light-hearted book that they should amuse most kids (and mom's like me!). David Lubar's jazzy writing keeps the story moving along. And I swear he had me chuckling outloud on just about every page.

Funny and insightful, Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie ought make a good Read-aloud. Now that I've finished the book, I plan on sharing it with my 7- and 9- year-olds.

No foul language. No unseemliness, unless you count a little rotting flesh.

mom and Reviewer at BooksForKids-reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Zombie? Not me! 27 Aug. 2009
By Tim Lasiuta - Published on
Format: Paperback
Some kids books just don't make the grade, no matter what age level they're written for. Thankfully, My Rotten Life is more than your `age appropriate' book.

At Belgosi Junior High School Nathan Abercrombie is a nobody. He sits at the loser table, and gets marks that distinguish nobody. His friends are not high on the social hierarchy either. Going to an Uncle of one of his less popular classmates, he is splashed by a Hurt No More cure that turns him into zombie one piece of body at a time. His friends Mookie, Abigail, and Adam suffer with him but only Mookie, and science wonder Abigail know his situation. His mom think he's not well, and his teachers don't notice his malady. He can't breathe, eat, or use the washroom, but he can run and field day without pain. In `death' he excels, in life, he sucks. Live or dead, Nathan will never be without friends again and his life will not be the same ever.

So as to not give the book away. This is a delightful, silly, enthusiastic , charming book that David Lubar put his heart into. It shows. The pacing is excellent, the characters are kids my son may know, yet it is divorced enough from reality to give a `why not' ?

As a parent, I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I think it's on par with Deep Fried Worms and other classic kids books. Well done Mr Lubar!

Tim Lasiuta

Is Being Half-Dead Really Half-Bad? 29 Sept. 2009
By Sheila Clover - Published on
Format: Paperback
Nathan Abercrombie is a typical fifth-grader with ordinary fifth-grade problems: he is the second skinniest kid in school, which secures him a position at the "second-best" table with the other less popular students. He has issues with "catty," more popular girls, overbearing bullies, and gym teachers. Life for Nathan is rough. So when his life's course is altered by his being exposed to an experimental serum that turns him into a zombie, he is not terribly bothered by the ordeal. After all, he has more time for video games, since he no longer requires sleep. And bullies will never be a problem for a kid who no longer experiences pain.
Being half-dead may not be that bad, and Nathan is even starting to become more popular at his school because of it. But what if he wanted to become human again? Is there even a way of returning to his real life from this half-dead life that he now calls his own? Find out in the first book from an all-new series from David Lubar, My Rotten Life: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie.
David Lubar is an author whose work has been highly praised by reviewers of children's literature. His first novel, Hidden Talents, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and his subsequents works have been well-received by young readers everywhere. This latest work deals with the hilarity and hijinks that are merely an integral part of childhood for so many. His latest novel is a delightful, comedic read best suited to middle grade readers.
He absolutely loved it, couldn't take his nose out of it ... 22 Aug. 2014
By Diane Dean - Published on
Format: Paperback
i bought this book for my grandson (12 yr old at the time). He absolutely loved it, couldn't take his nose out of it until he finished it! i love it when a gift goes over that well! I continue to purchase books like this for him, but i am cautious not to let it become an expected gift, after all, the surprise of receiving is part of the excitement.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Reluctant Reader? Read My Rotten Life! 21 Oct. 2009
By The Book Nosher - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you like books that make you laugh out loud AND feel empathy for what the main character is going through, then look no further than My Rotten Life: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie. Kids will identify with Nathan's plight from the first page until the last, as they devour the book to see what happens next.

Nathan is a fifth-grader who is having a bad day. Actually, it starts out as a bad day and only gets worse. First, the girl of his dreams--Shawna Lanchester--humiliates him in front of the entire cafeteria by publicly announcing that she's not inviting him to her annual Halloween party. Later on in gym class, he is the last person to be picked for a team. To add insult to injury, he comes in dead last in the mile run. Finally, he publicly humiliates himself at a video game so that all the kids start calling him a "vidiot." All of these things sound about as bad as it can get for a ten-year-old who is more than aware of where he falls in the social hierarchy of fifth grade.

After school, a new girl in town-Abigail-tells him that her uncle (a mad scientist) is working on a cure to get rid of bad feelings. She thinks that after Nathan's rotten day he would be the perfect subject. So off they go to the lab, only to have the serum mistakenly spilled all over him. And wouldn't you know it, Nathan begins to turn into a zombie.

The book continues with some amusing stories of what happens while one is slowly turning into a half-dead zombie. And quite honestly, life is somewhat better for Nathan. He can't feel pain, so he excels at sports because his asthma doesn't kick in. He doesn't need sleep, so he stays up all night secretly playing video games (and gets good at them). Nonetheless, he knows he doesn't want to live his life as a zombie, so he and his friends, Abigail and Mookie, go in search for a cure.

Along the way, you are drawn into the life of fifth-graders, complete with the popular group, the skaters, the nerds and the jocks. Kids will identify (and laugh) as these hierarchies are exposed and poked fun of. The true meaning of friendship is also explored in a totally convincing, yet fun, fifth-grade way. Finally, Nathan's home life is portrayed realistically: Mom is loving, if not a little neurotic, and video games are not allowed: "Mom thought games were too violent. Dad thought they were a bad investment."

My Rotten Life is written in a lively, very readable style. From the first sentence to the last, readers will be drawn in. Here's the first paragraph:

"It's no fun having your heart ripped from your body, slammed to the floor, and stomped into a puddle of quivering red mush. It's even less fun when it happens three times in one afternoon."

If you have a child for whom reading is not their first choice for an activity, try My Rotten Life. The slightly gross humor and easy-to-read text are sure to reel them in. On the other hand, if you have a child who loves to read, they'll probably read My Rotten Life in an afternoon (laughing all the while). Plus, the last paragraph hints that there's more to come:

"Other than that, things are pretty much normal for the only zombie in Belgosi Upper Elementary. Or, at least, they were normal until the secret agent from BUM showed up. But that's another story."
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