Sunday, October 20, 2013

Zombie Books for Kids Are All the Rage

Zombies are making a comeback in kids literature.  Sure they have been around in YA books for a while now, an offshoot of the vampire books, but even the younger set can now get a taste for the undead.  While they can border on gross and are a little bit creepy, authors have found a way to use humor to take the fright factor out and leave us with some well timed chuckles.

So lets give the undead some love.  This week two of the books I am profiling, Case File 13 and My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish have knee slapping funny action. They are guarenteed to provide guffaws.

My last book, Dead City is great for middle grade kids and has plenty of action and humor, but stays far away from the slapstick comedy.  I love that the heroine is a girl, so even the females can kick a little zombie tushie!  I was very impressed with the start of this series, so it is one to watch.

Don't forget to like One Great Book on Facebook or Twitter for all the books that will help your kids prepare for the zombie apocalypse.  Now wouldn't you hate to face that one unprepared?

Title:       Case File 13: Zombie Kid

Author:    J. Scott Savage

Target:     Grades 4-7

Series:      Yes

What this book is about:
Three friends have an unusually strong obsession with monsters and the supernatural.  When one of the boys, Nick, finds out his recently deceased great aunt was a Zombie Queen, he can’t wait to investigate.  However, in doing so, he comes across an amulet that turns him into a Zombie.  Will he and his friends be able to lift the curse or is he doomed to loose body parts at an alarmingly increasing rate?

Why I love this book:
Just a great start to a new series.  It has all the fear and creepiness of zombies, tempered with laugh out loud humor and non stop action.  Now if you told me that Zombies and funny could work well in a kids book, I might have called you a liar.  However, I stand corrected.

If your kids are interested in folklore at all, the tidbits of history sprinkled throughout the book are a lot of fun.  The book has twists and turns that will keep kids guessing and one of my favorite parts was the commentary at the top of every chapter.  Each chapter starts you off with sayings like “Can you really have too many cemetery chapters in a scary story?” or “The chapter in which we discover what the heck is going on.”

Who this book is for:
Great book for kids who like the suspense of a creepy story, but with plenty of humor so that it is never scary.

Final thoughts:
Zombies have never been so fun!

To purchase this book from Amazon, click on the following link: Case File 13: Zombie Kid  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

Author:   Mo O’Hara

Target:    Grades 2-5

Series:     Yes

What this book is a about:
Tom’s brother brings home a goldfish one day for a science experiment, and that experiment that involves putting toxic green gunk in the water.  The gunk is deadly and Tom attempts to save the fish with a zap of his battery and ends up bringing him back from the dead.  The only problem is that now he has created a zombie goldfish, and this fish is out for revenge on Tom’s brother.

Why I love this book:
Ok, nothing particularly highbrow here, but good old fashioned zombie fun!  The story is definitely silly and not scary so no zombie fright worries.  The hijinks that ensue in this narrative are all goofy and I did catch myself giggling several times, especially at the five most embarrassing things that can happen to a kid in elementary school.  I think I am guilty of inflicting #1 on my middle son - may he one day forgive me.

 The illustrations by Marek Jagucki are also quite charming and certainly add to the story.  The cover alone caught the attention of my son the moment I put it down.  This is a book that will get picked up.

Who this book is for:
Kids who like zombie fish and kids who like to laugh.  This book could go down to second grade with a proficient reader.  The pages are not overwhelming and there are illustration scattered through out.

Final thoughts:
Whatever you do, don’t look this fish in the eye .... I’m warning you!

To purchase this book from Amazon, click on the following link: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       Dead City

Author:   James Ponti

Target:    Grades 4-8

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
Molly is a struggling tween.  She is not the best at making friends and her workload is tough at MIST - the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology.  But her life changes when she is recruited into the Omegas, and elite force that keeps the peace with the zombie, I mean undead, community.  Yes, you got that right, there are zombies living among us in Manhattan and while some fit right in, others aren’t so nice.  When a group of zombies decides to plot to take over the city, well, Molly has to kick it up a notch, and that is where the trouble begins.

Why I love this book:
Ok, I read hundreds of books a year.  I read about animals that talk, fights to the death, fairies among us, and if I had a nickel for every heroine with a special power, I would be a rich woman.  However, despite all this reading, this is only middle adventure series I have read about zombies!  Awesome!

This story was so much fun.  I will warn you that it does have a bit of an ick factor, I mean the undead can loose a limb and keep on fighting, but the story is fast paced, engaging and exciting so the falling limbs simply added color to the story.  

I also really enjoyed Molly’s team of zombie fighters.  They are nerdy and cool all at the same time as they work to solve mysteries and discover ancient secrets.  I do wish that Ponti had provided a little more of the history of how new zombies are created, but perhaps that is being saved for the next book.

Who this book is for:
Any kid who likes action and does not have a sensitive stomach.

Final thoughts:
I hate it when a book ends on a cliffhanger.  When a story is well written I think you can leave an opening for more and still provide a satisfying ending.  Shame on you James Ponti for not trusting your readers more because this story left us hanging big time.

To purchase this book from Amazon, click on the following link: Dead City  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

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