Invasion of the Road Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales

Invasion of the Road Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales

by David Lubar

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Watch out for the road weenies!

A town is overrun by road weenies—a.k.a. joggers—who never smile. A girl thinks she's too old for Halloween...until she finds a special pair of gloves. A boy takes a shortcut to an unexpected place. A mummy takes his revenge, one little piece at a time.... Welcome to the weird and wacky world of award-winning storyteller and master of the macabre, David Lubar. These thirty-five tales ranging from the silly and offbeat to flat-out horrifying are just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. As an added bonus at the end of the book, David answers the question most frequently asked of writers with a behind-the-scenes look at the various ways he got the ideas for the stories in this collection. Don't be a weenie. Read these stories. If you dare!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765353252
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 08/29/2006
Series: Weenies Stories Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 272,571
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.49(d)
Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

David Lubar created a sensation with his debut novel, Hidden Talents, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Thousands of kids and educators across the country have voted Hidden Talents onto over twenty state lists. David is also the author of True Talents, the sequel to Hidden Talents; Flip, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror selection; five short story collections, including In the Land of the Lawn Weenies, The Curse of the Campfire Weenies, The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies, and Attack of the Vampire Weenies; and the Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie series. Lubar grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and he has also lived in New Brunswick, Edison, and Piscataway, NJ, and Sacramento, CA. Besides writing, he has also worked as a video game programmer and designer. He now lives in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Aren't you going out for trick or treat?" Jennifer's mom asked two weeks before Halloween. "If you want me to make a costume, we'd better start soon."

"I'm getting kind of old for that," Jennifer said. "Maybe I'll skip it this year."

"Are you sure? I thought you loved to go out."

Jennifer nodded. "I'm pretty sure." She'd been thinking about it ever since last year---ever since those older kids had stolen her candy and chased her down the street. As much as she loved Halloween, it just wasn't worth the risk. Monster terror was fun. Real terror wasn't.

"There's still time for me to make a costume," her mom said a week before Halloween.

"Thanks. But I think I'll stay home and hand out candy." That might even be fun, Jennifer thought. She liked seeing the little kids in their cute costumes. Her enthusiasm faded as she realized the older kids would come to her door, too---the ones who didn't even bother with real costumes. The ones who were just out to get as much candy as they could.

"Last chance," Jennifer's mom said the day before Halloween. "I can still put something together."

Jennifer looked out the window at the leaf-strewn streets that would soon be filled with costumed kids. "No thanks," she said.

But on Halloween, as the day fell dark and the smallest trick-or-treaters emerged from their houses like ants spilling from a hill, Jennifer wondered if it was too late to change her mind.

She had good memories of her first Halloween. It wasn't fair to have nothing but bad memories about her last one. But that awful Halloween didn't have to be her last one. Not if she went out now.

Costume, Jennifer thought, rummaging through her closet. Nothing. Sure, she could throw together a hippie outfit, or do some sort of clown makeup, but that wasn't good enough. That wasn't special.

She tried the basement. The sound of the doorbell drifted down from upstairs. As Jennifer scanned the piles of boxes stacked along a wall, the flash of a gold latch caught her eye.

Her great grandmother's old trunk sat shoved in a corner beneath moldy boxes of baby toys and a stack of canning jars. Jennifer vaguely remembered looking in the trunk when they'd first moved to the house.

She uncovered the trunk and unlatched the lid. A dusty smell of ancient cloth tickled her nose as she sorted through the contents. Just old dresses. Nice enough, but not the sort of costume she wanted. There was a hat with a veil---thin black gauze that covered the face of the wearer. This might work in an emergency, she thought. Still, she'd hoped to find something better.

Jennifer found nothing else. But, as she started to close the lid, she realized something was wrong. The outside of the trunk seemed deeper than the inside. She emptied the trunk and knocked her fist against the bottom. Instead of a solid whack, she was rewarded with a hollow thump. Excited, she pushed and pressed until she discovered the right spot. The false bottom popped up.

Jennifer held her breath as she lifted the wood panel, wondering what treasures she might find.

Gloves. That was all. One pair of black leather gloves. Jennifer noticed a folded slip of paper tucked between the fingers. She opened the slip and read the handwritten words out loud, "Special gloves for a special night."

The doorbell rang again. Jennifer heard a chorus of young voices shouting "Trick or treat!" Halloween was slipping past her like hourglass sand.

Jennifer grabbed the hat. Not a great costume, but it would have to do. On a whim, she grabbed the gloves, too. After all, it was a special night, even if she didn't have a special costume. She slipped the gloves over her hands. They fit like she'd worn them for years. She put on the hat. The veil cut her off from the world, filtering everything through a dark curtain.

Jennifer ran upstairs and grabbed her Halloween bag.

"I'm going out," she called to her mom.

"Have fun, dear. Be careful."

She dashed into the crisp air of the last night in October. As she knocked on her first door and got her first piece of candy, Jennifer knew she'd made the right decision. She traveled the familiar streets, following a pattern she'd worked out over the years.

At most houses, she heard the same question. "What an interesting costume. What are you?"

"Just a veiled lady," Jennifer told them.

She reached Pritchard Street. A dead end. The best path was down one side and up the other. She went to the first house on the right, and then the second.

As she left the second house, she heard the footsteps behind her. Footsteps and whispers. She took a quick glance over her shoulder at the hovering shapes. Taller kids, bigger kids. Though she hated to break the pattern, Jennifer crossed the street.

They followed. Going to each house right after her. Playing with her the way a cat plays with a mouse. They had time. She was trapped.

Jennifer crossed the street again.

They crossed, too.

And again.

Jennifer gripped her bag with her right hand, feeling the plastic handle bite against her palm through the thin leather of the gloves. I'm just going to walk back to the corner, she told herself. She'd go past them, and everything would be fine.

Forcing herself to look straight ahead, she took a step toward them. Crude laughs bubbled from the cluster of kids. "Trick or treat," the boy in front said in a nasty, mocking voice. His only costume was football shirt. Behind him, another boy, the tallest of the group, wore a motorcycle jacket.

"Gonna share?" the boy in front asked.

Jennifer avoided his eyes.

He stepped closer and reached toward her bag.

Jennifer put her left hand out, as if this motion had the power to stop them. She froze as the oddest sound punctured the night.


Claws, black as coal and sharp as needles, sprouted from her fingertips.

"Just give me the bag," the boy said.

Jennifer gave him the claws instead.

He screamed and clutched at his ripped shirt. The others took a step toward her. Jennifer flicked her arm out and slashed ribbons from the tall boy's leather jacket. She slashed flesh, too, but only enough to warn him off, only enough to make him think twice the next time he considered stalking a victim.

Even in the dark, the others saw enough to know what she had done.

They turned and fled. But not before Jennifer had flicked her wrist a final time, gutting their bags and spilling candy on the street.

The claws retracted.

Jennifer left the spilled candy for the little ones to find. She'd already received her reward. She finished her path along the street.

At the final house, a woman said, "My, my, that's a lovely costume. What are you?"

"Justice," Jennifer whispered.

"What?" the woman asked.

"Just a veiled lady," Jennifer said.

Her bag was nearly full. Normally, that was when she'd return home. But there were other kids out there like her, alone and vulnerable. And there were other gangs like the one she'd met.

Jennifer stayed on the streets until the last porch light went dark. Finally, she headed home.

"Did you have a good time?" her mother asked.

Jennifer nodded, sending a ripple through the veil. She removed the hat and gloves. "I think this was the best Halloween ever. I can't wait until next year."

"Well, just let me know ahead of time if you want a costume," her mother told her.

"I'll stick with this one," Jennifer said. "It's kind of fun. And it fits me really well."

Copyright © 2006 by David Lubar

Reading Group Guide

Questions for Discussion

1. What fear does Jennifer conquer in "The Last Halloween"? By what means is her fear conquered? What themes or ideas from this first story carry through some or all of the other tales in Invasion of the Road Weenies?

2. What classic superstition plays a role in "Bed Tings"? Do you believe in such notions as "bad things come in threes" or "black cats bring bad luck"? Has superstition ever influenced your actions or thoughts? Explain.

3. Several stories in this collection, such as "The Green Man," deal with scary rumors spread around schools and neighborhoods. How do you think these rumors start? Has such a rumor ever spread through your community? Do you believe the scary stories other kids tell on the playground? Why or why not?

4. "Precious Memories" and "We Interrupt This Program" explore strange interactions between kids and technology. What is your reaction to these stories? Do you ever have frightening thoughts about the high-tech devices in your home? Describe these ideas.

5. Are "Goose Eggs" and "Anything You Want" stories about greed? Why or why not? What might the author be saying about wealth and wishes? What other stories in the collection explore this or related themes?

6. Several stories deal with the interaction between people and nature. What do you think the author fears, appreciates, or worries about nature and the way people treat their world? Do you share any of these concerns?

7. Look back through the collection to find stories in which kids disappear. Compare and contrast these tales. Why do you think the author includes such a selection of disappearance stories?

8. "Unseen," "Invasion of the Road Weenies," and "The Shortcut" all involve taking roads or pathways. What other elements do these stories share? How is the notion of traveling along a path an important motif in this story collection? Explain your answer.

9. In the last section of the book, David Lubar describes how he came to write the stories in this collection. Were any of his thoughts surprising? Did you ever experience similar "wonders"? For which of his musings might you have come up with an entirely different story? Briefly describe the story you would tell.

10. Short story master Edgar Allan Poe once said: "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." What does this statement mean to you? How might it apply to Invasion of the Road Weenies, to author David Lubar, and to any dreamers you might know?

Customer Reviews

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Invasion of the Road Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two words super amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has some pretty scary stuff. I love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HOW does the author come up with all of these stories?!!!! There are soooo many! He must have a lot of imagination to create these freaky fantastic stories!!! At first i thought that it would be lame but then i couldnt even put the book down! There are more too! Just click on the related titles button to check them out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Invasion of the road wienes is very funny and I think it is very humorious
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so Cool!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very great book,It was wierd and creepy but GREAT!! Girls will love it too, I should know, I am a girl!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I read it over and over again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the david lubar books are awesome
Guest More than 1 year ago
It has funny stories that are weird and gross. Outstanding!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great, also creepy and weird. That is what made this book good.
catherinegardner2011 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Creepy tales that are all science fiction. This book is a collection of silly and funny tales that even low readers can understand.
elissajanine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My sixth grade students and I were introduced to David Lubar in the Guys Read: Funny Business anthology, and I picked this collection up this summer hoping to be able to use it in my teaching with the same group of kids--struggling but not necessarily reluctant readers. The stories in this book are perfect--a great readaloud or independent reading length, and almost every one begins with a great "What if?" concept...perfect fodder for writing prompts, high-level questioning, and overall just fun, engaging discussions. Terrific!
MrsBond on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent collection of short stores that are very suitable for class read-aloud. Stories range from silly to creepy. Especially enjoyed:'Shaping the Fog' - children sneak out to play in the fog, making playthings and creatures. All is fun until the littlest one attempts to make one like himself.'Wandering Stu' - deals with selfishness and introduces futility of bureaucracy.'Lines' - On the way to a school assembly a girl decides to walk next to her friend instead of a single file line. Great jumping point for discussion on acting outside the norm, breaking rules, etc.
PrincezzRyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just as good as the first one!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book great for 7 and up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have it in paperback. It rocks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Won't show sugestions
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An it was really mysterious and F.U.N.N.Y.!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book looks funny from the title and cover!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AWESOME BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!