Dan Greenburg has known success as a humorist, a novelist, a journalist, a screenwriter, and a playwright. Now he has turned his considerable talent to writing an original new series of books for a younger audience. Inspired by his own son Zack, for whom the hero of his new series, The Zack Files, is named, Greenburg has combined his love of humor, his interest in things paranormal, and his talent for writing to create books that kids like Zack will want to read.With 18 books to his credit, Dan Greenburg's work has been translated into 19 languages and is available in 22 countries. His best-selling titles for adults include How to Be a Jewish Mother, How to Make Yourself Miserable, Scoring, Love Kills, How to Avoid Love and Marriage and Exes. His previous books for children include Young Santa, The Bed Who Ran Away From Home, Jumbo the Boy and Arnold the Elephant.His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Ms., Time, Newsweek, Life, New York magazine, Cosmopolitan, the New York Times Book Review, Vanity Fair, Playboy, and have been reprinted in 33 anthologies of humor and satire in the United States and England.Born and raised in Chicago, Dan Greenburg received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Illinois, and his M.A. from UCLA. He is the father of Zack, a teenage son, who played the title role in the motion picture, LORENZO'S OIL, and served as the inspiration for The Zack Files. Mr. Greenburg lives in Westchester County, New York.
Gr 3-5‘Zack is a normal 10-year-old boy with a knack for getting into weird situations. In Wanda, he attempts to rid his apartment of a rude eight-year-old poltergeist who communicates by spelling out words with peanut M&Ms. In Litter Box, he plans to adopt a kitten but instead acquires a cantankerous talking cat that claims to be the reincarnation of his great-grandfather. He sees his reflection in the Medicine Cabinet mirror and falls through into a skewed world that its inhabitants consider much "cooler" than ours. An electrical accident occurs at school and Zap!‘Zack can hear thoughts, including a bloodthirsty voice expressing an eagerness to kill. The stories have a whacked-out, off-the-wall humor that is reminiscent of the work of Daniel Pinkwater. At the same time, they neatly poke fun at the conventions of popular horror series. Kids will find some of the episodes tremendously funny. Great-Grandpa the cat threatens to "take a leak" on the sofa if Zack doesn't provide him with his preferred food (herring with sour cream!); Wanda and a fellow ghost yank down a bully's pants. The books are short without looking babyish and would appeal to reluctant readers as well as those with a taste for oddball humor.‘Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL