Friday, July 05, 2013

Guy Friday- Zombies

The Zombie Chasers #4: Empire State of Slime Kloepfer, John. Zombie Chasers: Empire State of Slime
16 April 2013, HarperCollins

Zach, Rice, Ozzie, Madison and Zoe are back after helping discover the brain flavored popcorn antidote for the BurgerDog plotted zombie outbreak in the first three Zombie Chasers (Undead Ahead and Sludgement Day)  books. They have been asked to appear on the Good Morning Show, and to go to the Natural History Museum to see an exhibit on zombies. Rice wants to use his fame to get girls, but Zach just wants to go home to Arizona and live a normal life. While sightseeing on the top of the Empire State Building, however, Rice rezombifies! Zach quickly realizes that soon everyone will rezombify, and the group once again has to go on a perilous journey to find an antidote. This time, it takes them all over New York City, has them leading zombies in Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance, and is strewn with plenty of blood and guts. Their best bet to formulate an antidote is with Madison’s vegan blood that remains on a bandage (she has since eaten pepperoni!), but when zombie Rice eats the bandage, the group heads off to find a group of vegans to help them. When Egon, who has a vegan food truck, is lost in a zombie attack, the group decides to head to Canada to find Madison’s lookalike cousin who is also a vegan. Yes, the group will be back fighting the rezombification in Nothing Left to Ooze.
Strengths: Despite the cartoonish cover, there is plenty of middle grade appropriate blood and gore. The children are clearly on the side of good and fighting off zombies the best they can and trying to save the world. This series is HUGELY popular among my 6th and 7th grade boys, but by 8th grade, they have moved on to things like Rot and Ruin.
Weaknesses: Very narrow audience. I can see people being reluctant to give this to fourth graders, who would love it, because of all the brains being eaten. Of course, if my 6th graders are watching the Walking Dead television show, who knows what the average 10 year old’s exposure to zombie gore is.

My Big Fat Zombie GoldfishO’Hara, Mo. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish. 
9 July 2013, Feiwel and Friends
ARC from Baker and Taylor
Tom’s  brother Mark fancies himself an evil scientist, and when his class is studying the effects of pollution on marine life, he takes the contents of his Junior Scientist chemical set and poisons a gold fish. Tom and his friend Pradeep manage to get the goldfish, whom they name Frankie, out and revive him with batteries. Frankie exhibits some strange powers, like the ability to hypnotize Pradeep’s little sister Sami. Mark then tries to kill Frankie, who bounces out of a window, survives, and is put in a plastic bag of water by Tom. Good to know that toddler snot is a powerful antidote to use on failing goldfish! In the second part of the book (which may be an entirely separate book in the UK), Pradeep’s computer hacker brother Sanj is kicked out of his boarding school and teams up with Mark to terrorize their brother’s school by hypnotizing everyone with the goldfish and taking over the computer network. Their ultimate goal is to record Frankie’s stare and hypnotize people over the internet, but Tom and Pradeep save the day with the help of the cafeteria ladies and shiny lunch trays. Also good to know—moldy green bread can unzombify a goldfish.
Strengths: For younger students who want zombie stories, this is a perfect one. Lots of goofy antics, nothing gory, and no slowing the story down with any philosophy.
Weaknesses:  This definitely falls on the elementary side of the Pilkey line; middle school students want zombie books primarily for the gore, not for the antics.

1 comment:

  1. I also love Zombiekins which is for younger MG. Thanks for the recs.