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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Middle Grade Zombie Books...Because Children Like Zombies Too!

It's no secret that zombies are popular (Ebooks to Help You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse is still an oft-visited post here), but did you know you needn't wait until you're an adult to enjoy zombie tales? There are numerous children's books out there to try out, and some are available for the Kindle.

Here are a few zombie reads for middle-grade ebook lovers:

When Mr. Murphy finds out that evil organization RABID is using a student academic and athletic competition to recruit agents, he asks Nathan, Abigail, and Mookie to form a team and enter the contest. Things go terribly wrong when Nathan’s nemesis, Rodney the bully, forms his own team to go up against Nathan. Soon Rodney and his pals start to notice some very odd things about Nathan. Will they discover Nathan’s secret and expose his zombie identity to the entire world?

Seventh-grader Zack Clarke's suburban Phoenix neighborhood seems normal–until almost everyone mysteriously transforms into a zombie. Zack, his geeky friend Rice, and his eighth-grade sister Zoe's glamorous but snarky friend Madison are seemingly the only ones unaffected. That means that all the zombies in the neighborhood–including Zoe–are determined to devour them. They need to defend themselves but can only find a plastic baseball bat and a fire extinguisher. Meanwhile, Zack and Zoe's parents are at a parent-teacher night at their school–do they even know what's going on? This first volume in a new series leaves readers hanging at the end, but it's a quick, fun read, loaded with jokes and middle-school sarcasm. Kloepfer's descriptions of the zombies and their feeding habits, and Wolfhard's cartoon characters with guts and drool hanging out, are not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach).

Z is for ZOMBIE . . .

Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are excited to vacation in the Louisiana bayou. But the small village they visit has a scary problem. The villagers tell stories of voodoo and a giant zombie with silver hair who has been digging up graves in the cemetery. Can the the tales be true? It’s up to Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose to unearth the secrets of the zombie zone.

After Keats and Henry lose their bikes, they need money—fast. So the help-wanted ad at the supermarket seems ideal for them. All they have to do is weed Hallway House's garden, find some lightbulbs in the attic, sweep the garage . . . and battle a shark-headed zombie. But no one told them about the giant bookworms in the library, the toe-biting carpet in the halls, and the kitchen sinkhole!

Middle school is hard enough for the living, but for Loeb it's especially dreadful. He is a thoughtful zombie whose classmates are fellow zombies, Lifers (regular humans), and blood-sucking creatures known as Chupos. His school is a boiling pot of rivalries and segregations. Things get interesting for Loeb when the librarian (a Lifer) encourages him to read some of his haiku at open-poetry night. Subplots include a Lifer who is romantically interested in Loeb and tensions within the different groups that mount when one being mingles with another. The novel is told through a series of haiku, a form that is comically ideal for zombie dialogue. While the book appears to be an easy read, this poetic form will appeal to skilled readers who are comfortable navigating this narrative technique. The novel jumps right into the story, and readers are required to interpret the characters, setting, and situations quickly; the poetic form does not allow for detailed character and plot development and it is sometimes difficult to discern which character is speaking. Holt employs gross-out humor that will appeal to her audience: the zombies' bodies are constantly falling apart and the novel begins, appropriately, with a haiku about eating brains, “Brains for lunch again/‘Stop moaning and just eat it.'/Lunch lady humor.” Wilson's pen-and-ink illustrations complement the text and zombies are shown as creatures surrounded by flies, swarming with worms, and constantly struggling to keep their bodies intact.

There you have it: several zombie books for young readers, all available for the Kindle. Enjoy the reading!


  1. Thanks for the comment, Jill. I'm not sure I love zombies, but they do make for some entertaining books. ;)

  2. How did I miss this post?! The boy is gonna love these. And since he got an iPod for Christmas, I don't have to share my Kindle. :P

  3. I can't imagine reading a book on my iPod but kids probably wouldn't think anything of it. They have those good eyes. *g*