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Our Teacher Is a Vampire and Other (Not) True Stories
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Our Teacher Is a Vampire and Other (Not) True Stories

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Mrs. Penrose has a secret, and Alexander H. Gory, Jr., thinks he knows just what it is.

To spread the word, Alexander passes around his notebook, in which he details his proof that their mild-mannered teacher has become a blood-sucking creature of the night. The news spreads like wildfire, and soon the whole class is speculating. Will the librarian be her next victim? Can
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 15th 2016 by Holiday House (first published March 1st 2016)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  100 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Okay, before I review what I thought of the story, I have to acknowledge a spelling inconsistency that annoyed and distracted me throughout the entire book: Kristin's name is spelled differently ALL THE TIME. When she's writing an actual story and has a byline or others write to her, it's "KristIn", but when it's just her signature it's "KristEn". Sometimes on the same page! How did the author and her editor/s not notice this?! Grrr. I think it bothers me so much for three reasons:
1) I am a form
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was prepared to give up on this book because it was really boring and there was a severe lack of vampires despite the title, but then the tide turned and it became adorable and sweet and hopeful AND FINE, I'LL LOVE THE STUPID BOOK, OK??? ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
What's that old adage? "Don't judge a book by its cover." I definitely judged this book by its cover. I thought it would air on the side of totally silly and really provide an opportunity to reel in those reluctant readers. This is definitely still true but this book is also so much more than that. It's actually a very sweet story, one that is written for all those young readers and writers out there and for all the teachers and authors who inspire them. I love when books surprise me and this on ...more
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Here's what my students said:
I love the characters and how they are all unique in some way – Lillian
I like Mary Amato’s idea of how she wrote the book using letters – Connor
I love how each character is different – Annalise
I like how there wasn’t a true narrator and there was always someone “talking” – Emily
I love how Mary Amato put herself into Mali Koam – Ella
I woke up early to finish the book! - Patrick
Mar 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
A friend is dying so I needed something to read as I sat vigil. I didn't want anything that would make me think too hard so I rummaged my to-be-read pile. This was the winner.

It's a sweet book. I loved the multiple viewpoints. It reminded me of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda but written for a younger audience.

I'd use this for my multiple points-of-view unit.

PS: My friend died a few minutes before midnight. It was peaceful.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
An engaging title gets you started, good writing keeps you reading. The story is written as individual entries in a blank book, a nice strategy for showing middle grade readers different points of view.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars Alexander shares his new blank book with classmates and it becomes a journal in which the friends share thoughts with each other. After their teachers shares that she is pregnant, she is suddenly gone as her child is born prematurely. Students show empathy for mother and baby.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shared notebook, school story, teacher/student relationships, writing devices, collaborative story, multiple fonts for multiple voices
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
maybe 3.5 stars. cute epistolary novel that interestingly turns into a story about writing and the power of words.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute kids book about the creative process.
Very funny! I loved the Mr. Finkersnot story!
Dec 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Super fun read-aloud for elementary age students.
Although the title was a bit deceptive and prompted me to expect a book about a teacher who thirsted for blood, it turned out to be a well-written, engaging read nevertheless. In fact, this book is basically a love letter to the transformative power of writing. When Alexander H. Gory thinks he has evidence that the class's teacher, Mrs. Penrose, is a vampire, he records his observations in a notebook that is passed among his classmates, several of whom add their own comments or questions. Eventu ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wish the title had been little more accurate but it definitely gets your attention. Kids get paranoid but the teacher is just pregnant, so they decide to enter a writing contest. Written in multiple letter form with the occasional essay style. Good for students looking for different layout to read. It is clever that each font was assigned to each student so you can recognize the new narrator. I'm okay with juvenile books but this was a very paint by numbers book. I didn't like how the students ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Amato, Mary Our Teacher is a Vampire and Other (not) True Stories, 253 pgs. Holiday House. 2016 $16.95. Content: G.

Alexander H. Gory Jr. received a beautiful blank book for his birthday and can’t wait to write in it. But he wants to share the writing with his class so he passes it around class inviting everyone to write and letting them know that he has PROOF that their teacher, Mrs. Penrose is an actual vampire! He read her journal (which was left open on her desk) noticed that she is looking
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alexander H. Gory Jr. received a beautiful blank book for his birthday and can’t wait to write in it. But he wants to share the writing with his class so he passes it around class inviting everyone to write and letting them know that he has PROOF that their teacher, Mrs. Penrose is an actual vampire! He read her journal (which was left open on her desk) noticed that she is looking pale and seems more tired than usual. Turns out, her secret is more natal than paranormal, and so the passed around ...more
Teresa Bateman
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
A class of children works on a cooperative story journal throughout a school year. Readers get to see their personalities through their writing, and follow along in their own trials and classroom drama, including the premature birth of their beloved teacher's baby. The book contains solid ideas for writing that teacher will enjoy implementing in their own classrooms and that young authors will appreciate. Because of that this merits a place in every library serving children. It would be a great ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mrs. Penrose has a secret! She's craving strange things, she's tired, clearly she's a vampire! Her students begin writing a story in a shared journal about her nocturnal activities, but soon learn the truth - she's expecting! The students continue writing in the journal as Mrs. Penrose encourages them to write a collaborative story and enter a contest. But then Mrs. Penrose's baby is born premature and the students begin using the journal to cope with their feelings of worry and stress and event ...more
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful companion to Amato's "Please Don't Write in This Book." The opening pages hook the reader immediately with a class mystery. Why is Mrs. Penrose acting strangely? Could Alexander be right? Did she turn into a vampire? The logical explanation is emotionally satisfying as the class comes together to record a special year in a shared notebook. During the course of the story, Amato reveals a plot device for short story writing called WOW that every classroom teacher will love. Th ...more
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
I received this book as an ARC at the ALA Mid-Winter Conference. I really enjoyed this book! Told as a series of journal entries by several students in the class, it begins with the students suspecting their teacher as being a vampire, and evolves into a wonderful story of how a class bonds together through their writing experiences. I love how literary terms and examples are cleverly woven into the story. I especially like the WOW acronym for writing a story. I think this would be a great book ...more
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very cute book. Only issue is that one of the characters writes in cursive, and that may be difficult for some kids to read.
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a matter of hours. It wasn't what the title implied it would be, but it truly was a gripping read. I am amazed at the true story that inspired the writing of this book. ...more
Funny, heartwarming group of children. navigating the classroom as well as life.
Karen Arendt
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! So many possibilities for children to get ideas. The writing suggestions could be used in classrooms. Students may even want to start their own collaborative writing book.
Kim Faires
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very cute book. For kids 8-12. Adorable premise and clever!
Susan Honthumb
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2017
Fantastically funny. I would love to create a class book like the one created in "Our Teacher Is A Vampire..." ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
A bit of a kiddish novel, it was good, I guess.
PottWab Regional Library
Mar 07, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2017-new
Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com
My son said this book was hilarious and so fun to read. He stated that he loved that there short passages to read, so it made it perfect for school because there is not a lot of time to read during the day. He was able to read a bit here and bit there throughout the day. He loved the story because it grew as the book progressed. He said that he laughed and loved that this book. He loved that the book is about being a team member, working together and about how wonderful writing is and how powerf ...more
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I write fiction for young adults and children and enjoy connecting with my readers. Adults (ages 18 and up) who are interested in writing, please check out my Writer's Studio sessions. https://www.maryamato.com/events/writ...

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