Friday, June 7, 2013

Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots by Debbie Dadey and Marcia T. Jones

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
80 pages
The first book in the Bailey School Kids series is an excellent children's mystery. The third grade class gets a new teacher Mrs. Jeepers and are immediately suspicious of her behavior. The class bully Eddie is interested in seeing how much he can get away with after causing his former teacher to quit abruptly.
After school a group of Mrs. Jeepers' students discuss the oddness of her character when they notice someone is moving into the abandoned Clancy house. They talk about the house being haunted when Mrs. Jeepers comes behind them and invites two of them, Melody and Eddie, into the house for a tour. Melody and Eddie are scared when they go inside and see the house is full of cobwebs and dust. They also notice a long box being brought into the basement. Melody and Eddie make an excuse and leave Mrs. Jeepers' house.

The following day the class meets under an oak tree at school and share their theories of Mrs. Jeepers' life and history. Many of them believe she is a vampire because she is from Transylvania. Over the next couple of days Howie brings in garlic and wears a cross while Melody and Eddie agree to make a trip to Mrs. Jeepers' house to see what is inside the box. Melody and Eddie break into Mrs. Jeepers' house and sneak into the basement. They try to open the coffin shaped box but figure out there is no latch. When they hear a bump somewhere they run out of the house across the street. The lights come on in the house and Mrs. Jeepers' comes to the front doorway and looks in their direction.

Eddie decides to misbehave often to get Mrs. Jeepers upset and during one attempt Eddie is seemingly hypnotized by Mrs. Jeepers' glowing green brooch. After this happens no one dares to break any class rules again except Eddie. When Eddie spits paper balls at Mrs. Jeepers' desk she takes him outside the room and the class is frightened for him. Eddie returns looking pale and tells his classmates after school he will never get Mrs. Jeepers' mad again. They ask him what she did to him, but he won't tell them. By the end of the school year Mrs. Jeepers' class concludes that she wasn't so bad and that she isn't that strange. Liza ends the talk by saying besides "vampires don't wear polka dots", referring to a pink and green polka dot dress Mrs. Jeepers wore. The mystery is not solved, but it is no longer a concern for the Bailey School kids.

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