Friday, May 06, 2011

Zombies and Weird Al

Ford, Michael Thomas. Z.
Copy checked out from The Ohio E-Book Project.

Josh's parents don't want him playing zombie hunting computer games, because his mother lost her family in the first big zombie plague. But since he excels at them, he is pleased when Charlie (who turns out to be a girl) invites him to play a laser tag-type version of the game with animatronic zombies. Charlie also gets Josh hooked on a drug called "z" that makes people feel like zombies; her reasoning is that it will make Josh a better zombie fighter, since he knows their thought processes. When Josh realizes that the man running the game is involved in keeping the zombie plague virus alive, and also recruiting kids to the game by getting them hooked on drugs, he tries to stop him before things get even further out of hand.

Strengths: This is everything boys want in a zombie book-- flame throwers, zombie chases, lots of gore. It also has some philosophical issues, but they are interspersed with action.
Weaknesses: For some reason, the drug addiction bothered me, but it shouldn't have. It was done very well.

Higson, Charlie. The Dead.
E-ARC provided by Net Galley. Publication date June 2011.

A year after The Enemy takes place, we meet Jack and his friends who are trying to save their Rowhurst School from the teachers who have succumbed to the virus that turns the adults into zombies. They rescue Frederique, whose father taught at the school, and take off to London. They are saved from being eaten alive by Greg, who is taking his son Liam to Islington. No one knows why Greg hasn't gotten sick...yet. The group picks up more and more children on their way and has many gore-filled battles. They end up in a war museum, where survival revolves around finding food and not letting "sickos" in to attack them. When London starts to burn, however, it's necessary to take off. There is room for a sequel after this.

Strengths: Lots of action and adventure mixed in with frightening zombies. Just doesn't get much better. This is much anticipated in my library.
Weaknesses: A little on the long side, but that hasn't deterred students from The Enemy.

Weird Al Yankovic's first new album in almost five years, Alpocalypse, comes out on
June 21st.
We are HUGE fans of Yankovic in my family. HUGE. We've been to three of his concerts, always wearing Hawaiian shirts. I'm preordering this.

Surly Teen Boy won a poetry slam at his high school by reciting, from memory, the anthem of our people, White and Nerdy.

Yankovic, Al. When I Grow Up.
From the Publisher: "An exuberant eight-year-old details for his teacher and classmates the astonishing variety of inventive careers he is thinking of pursuing when he grows up."

Strengths: Mr. Yankovic's humor is evident in the careers he envisions, giraffe milker and gorilla masseuse among them. The language and meter are up to my standards for this writer.
Weaknesses: Sometimes the meter goes slightly awry. I am a stickler for this, and I think the problem arises because it's harder to fudge in prose that it is when the words are sung.


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