Meet Adam Meltzer: Your "Neurotic Zombie" BFF

2015-09-18 00.41.47-1Jeff Norton Shares the 'Memoirs of An Neurotic Zombie'

I was first introduced to Jeff Norton’s writing a few years back when we connected over on Twitter. At that time, Jeff had just finished his popular MetaWars book series and I bought a copy for my nephew who absolutely loved the book (no small feat!)! Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie

He read them almost as fast as Jeff could write them! And even though I’m not really much of a science fiction kinda guy, I also really enjoyed the MetaWars books too!

(Sidebar: I’m more of a campy science fiction kinda guy, think Lost in Space, Robot Apocalypse, The Jetsons or Guardians of the Galaxy. So imagine my delight when I heard that Jeff’s new book, StarPressed, is an homage to that particular niche of science fiction! But I digress...)

Last week Jeff tweeted about the release of the second book in his Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie series and I knew I had to give it a try. I immediately downloaded the first Neurotic Zombie book on my Kindle.

And guess what? I loved it! Yes, even more than Plants vs. Zombies!

So What's This Book About?

Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie  follows the story of Adam Melzer and his two (misfit) friends, Corina and Nesto. It’s an exciting, yet very humorous and witty, adventure that is sure to capture the attention of even the most tech-obsessed kid. And as a bonus, old people will love reading this coming of age (zombie) tale too!

Adam, the main character and neurotic zombie, is just your average middle school (kinda) weird kid who, after being stung by a robot zombee (bzzzz!), finds himself, well, uhm.....Hashtag, #Awkward.

I’ll let “Adam” explain it to you.


Why You’ll Love It

  • First and foremost, Neurotic Zombie is a really fun book to read. Your kids, especially boys who often find it difficult to find books they enjoy reading, will rapidly embrace the story and will readily swipe to the next page to see what happens to Adam, Corina and Nesto.
  • Jeff does a fantastic job creating characters that kids will want to know more about. Adam,  and his weird kid posse, are characters that are really likable. Young readers will quickly develop a bond with with these characters and feel invested in the outcome of the story.
  • As an author, Jeff has mastered the Pixar and DreamWorks skill of developing kids entertainment content that both kids and adults will love.

    His witty use of wordplay, smart humor and double entendres will make kids laugh. And adults will especially enjoy the delightful chapter end notes--which I promise, will make you literally, LOL.
  • The series is perfectly situated to be the next big thing: It’s no secret that streaming media outlets are on the hunt for kid friendly content and Neurotic Zombie is ripe to be a snapped up by studios at Netflix, Amazon, Apple, HBO or the Disney Channel. Heck, this would be a great movie on the big screen!

    So why not jump on the Adam Melter bandwagon now, so you can brag about it later on Twitter? #TeamZombee
  • Like me, you’ll find yourself really caring about these characters, and wondering “How Can I Help Adam?” You’ll also find yourself thinking about Adam when you forget to refill the rinse aid in the dishwasher! (Read the book--it’s an Adam thing!)

Get the Book on Amazon!

If your kids are fans of Hotel Transylvania 2, they will LOVE Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie. In fact, use their love of the movie as a gateway to get them interested in reading!

So, go grab a copy of the book, throw in some Pop Rocks (what else would a vegan vampire eat?!), Purell (Adam’s right---GERMS people!) and Febreze (sorry, Nesto!) and immerse your kids in the snarky, fun and slightly creepy world of Adam, Nesta and Corina---trust me, it’s chupra-rrific!

Connect with Author Jeff Norton

Why Reading Your Kids A Bedtime Story is the Key to Literacy

The childhood tradition of a bedtime story is in serious peril, as experts warn that parents are not making the time to read to their children at the end of the working day and stop reading to them at too young an age.  image from

A recent survey, by YouGov for the children’s publisher Scholastic, revealed last week that many parents stop reading to their children when they become independent readers, even if the child isn’t ready to lose their bedtime story.

The study found that 83% of children enjoyed being read aloud to, with 68% describing it as a special time with their parents. (“It felt so warm, so spirit-rising,” as one 11-year-old boy put it.)

One in five of the parents surveyed stopped reading aloud to their children before the age of nine, and almost a third of children aged six to 11 whose parents had stopped reading aloud to them wanted them to carry on.

State of the Kids Digital Space, Apps & Media

YouthNation_LivestreamAlison Bryant and Paul Levine of children's digital research company PlayScience present their latest findings on kids and digital media at Casual Connect in San Francisco.

Not surprisingly, most children hear about new apps from their friends, especially as they get older, though younger children are more likely to learn about new apps from their parents.

Here's the executive summary of the PlayScience report:

PlayScience: Kids, Apps and Digital Media

Here's the video of the PlayScience presentation at the Casual Connect 2015 Conference in San Francisco.


Thanks to Scott Traylor of 360 Kid for the video!

iRights: Digitally Enabling Privacy for Children and Young People

image from‪iRights‬ is an initiative that seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children.



iRights Animated Film from Beeban Kidron on Vimeo.

This is a pretty interesting children's privacy initiative outta the UK. Seems like this should be "a thing" in every country, and not just for kids.

Camp Google

Camp GoogleCamp Google is a free summer camp that gets kids learning through fun, interactive science activities and adventures.

Led by experts, the activities have been designed to encourage kids to ask questions, setting them on a lifelong journey of exploration and discovery.

Starting Monday, kids can join Camp Google for free! Khan Academy, National Geographic, NASA, and the National Park Service teamed up to make a great experience!


Trend Watch: Facebook Freebooting

Slate has a really interesting article, Freebooting: Stolen YouTube Videos Go Viral on Facebook, that dives into a new phenomenon where YouTube videos are stolen and then uploaded to Facebook.

As one YouTube creator described it: 

"In May, he posted a YouTube video on how to make gummy candies in the shape of Legos, and it garnered about 600,000 views in the first 24 hours.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, someone else’s ripped version of his video was approaching 10 million views. “The worst thing is just the shock of how viral they go on Facebook compared to the ones I post on YouTube.” 


STUDY: The Role of Social Media and Technology in Peer Bullying

image from www.apa.orgRecently published research in the journal Psychology of Violence,  from the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC),  – “The Role of Technology in Peer Harassment: Does It Amplify Harm for Youth?” (pdf)  conducted a survey  of 791 young people aged 10-20 to find out the role of technology and social media in peer bullying.

The big take away from the study is that the negative impact of online bullying is "significantly lowerthan bullying behaviors that occur face-to-face.

  • "...That those seeking to prevent the most detrimental forms of peer harassment might focus less on cyberbullying per se and instead [consider] prevention programs that teach youth to handle negative feelings and to de-escalate tensions."
  • Compared with in-person incidents, technology-only incidents were less likely to involve multiple episodes and power imbalances.
  • They were seen by victims as easier to stop and had significantly less emotional impact.” So, no, the idea that tech amplifies harm, is not supported by the data."

While many researchers have been concerned that cyberbullying could actually be worse than facing a victim offline and in person, the study actually provided opposite results.

"Technology-only incidents were less likely than in-person only incidents to result in injury, involve a social power differential and to have happened a series of times," Kimberly J. Mitchell, lead author of the study, said in a news release.

"Mixed episodes, those that involved both in-person and technology elements, were more likely than technology-only episodes to involve perpetrators who knew embarrassing things about the victim, happen a series of times, last for one month or longer, involve physical injury and start out as joking before becoming more serious. It is these mixed episodes that appear to be the most distressing to youth."

This study represents a big shift in thinking about social media bullying and should make everyone involved in working with kids and teens shift more focus on to the bullying behaviors that take place in the classroom, home and playground.

The Role of Technology in Peer Harassment: Does It Amplify Harm for Youth?


STUDY: The Impact of 'Sesame Street' On Your Kids [INFOGRAPHIC]

The most authoritative study ever done on the impact of “Sesame Street,” finds that the famous show on public TV has delivered lasting educational benefits to millions of American children — benefits as powerful as the ones children get from going to preschool.

The paper from the University of Maryland’s Melissa Kearney and Wellesley College’s Phillip Levine finds that the show has left children more likely to stay at the appropriate grade level for their age, an effect that is particularly pronounced among boys, African Americans and children who grow up in disadvantaged areas.

image from

Why Not Us? Roadtrip Nation Documentary Film

RNBeing the first in your family to attend college is daunting, but rewarding. Follow the journeys of four young people—all first in their families to go to college—as they road-trip across the country to interview inspiring individuals who were also first in their families to pursue higher education.


After gaining wisdom and guidance from trail-blazing leaders—including Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Grammy Award-winner John Legend, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz—the Roadtrippers are emboldened to embrace the opportunities ahead and ask “why shouldn’t I succeed?”