In the Vanquishers, vampires were history … until now.

Article | Issue: Jan 2024

In KALYNN BAYRON’s book, The Vanquishers, we meet the heroes vampire hunters!

Good Reading for Kids chatted to the author about vampire hunting!


The Vanquishers by Kalynn BayronMalika “Boog” Wilson and her best friends have grown up idolising the Vanquishers, a group of heroic vampire hunters who wiped out the last horde of the undead decades ago. Nowadays, most people don’t take even the most basic vampire precautions – the days of garlic wreaths and early curfews are long gone – but Boog’s parents still follow the old rules, much to her embarrassment.

When a friend goes missing, Boog isn’t sure what to think. Could it be the school counsellor, Mr Rupert, who definitely seems to be hiding something? Or could it be something more dangerous? Boog is determined to save her friend, but is she ready to admit vampires might not be vanquished after all?

No one ever expected the Vanquishers to return, but if their town needs protection from the undead, Boog knows who to call …




Kalynn Bayron author

What sparked the idea for your latest novel, The Vanquishers

I love Vampires Stories! I love spooky scary books in general. I grew up with goosebumps, scary stories to tell in the dark, the Fear Street series, and I loved them all. I have wonderful memories of reading these stories late at night with the lights off and just scaring myself half to death. I thought if I could write a vampire story that was in the same vein as those types of stories, it would be fun for me as a writer, and for my younger readers.


Who are the Vanquishers and why are they important? 

The Vanquishers were a group of masked vampire slayers, whose main job was to keep the people of San Antonio, Texas, safe from the undead. They wiped out all of the remaining vampires during a big battle, called the Reaping, and then went into retirement, never to be seen again. They served as a symbol to the people in their community, letting them know that there will always be someone there to protect them.


What can you tell us about the vampires in this story?

The vampires in my story are monsters. That is what the majority of the people in San Antonio think. However, as we move through this story, I think it becomes clear that vampires might be more than what they appear, and that not all of them are bad guys. They’re still frightening! They have the ability to shape shift into things like creeping mist and bats. They are incredibly fast and strong. They have fangs and yes, they drink blood!


What are the most important precautions to take against vampires?

It’s important to be inside behind a locked door before the sun goes down. You would also do to well to keep a few bulbs of garlic on you at all times. And I think most importantly, vampires require an invitation to enter your home. Do not invite them in!


What kind of challenges will Boog and her friends face?

Boog and her friends are navigating their first year of sixth grade, which is a challenge in and of itself. On top of that, Boog is absolutely convinced that vampires are still a threat and so she has to convince her friends and family that maybe, just maybe, they need to be prepared for vampires to make a return. This story deals with friendships, family relationships, and really figuring out who you are and what you stand for.


Any tips for hunting vampires?

I think a lot of us are familiar with the fact that vampires can’t survive in the sun and have an aversion to garlic and silver, but there is some lesser known vampire lore that says vampires are easily confused and distracted by things like simple rhymes. We see this in the vanquishers when young children are taught vampire rhymes in nursery school to keep themselves safe, just in case. Reciting a simple rhyme in the presence of a vampire will confuse it long enough for you to get away!



Kalynn Bayron is the New York Times and Indie bestselling author of the YA fantasy novels Cinderella Is Dead and This Poison Heart. Her latest works include the YA horror novel You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight and the middle grade paranormal adventure The Vanquishers.

She is a CILIP Carnegie Medal Nominee, a three-time CYBILS Award nominee, a LOCUS Award finalist, and the recipient of the 2022 Randall Kenan Award for Black LGBTQ fiction. She is a classically trained vocalist and musical theater enthusiast. When she’s not writing you can find her watching scary movies and spending time with her family.

Visit Kalynn Bayron’s website



Author: Kaylynn Bayron


Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Bloomsbury

ISBN: 9781526655974

RRP: $17.99

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