October 13, 2012

Review: Zombies for Tweens?

Shopping at Barnes & Noble is a favorite past time for me. I get to browse shelves and discover books I might not otherwise find. These two tween zombies books fit that category.

First, let me say that if you have not read the Candy Apple books and/or the Bitten Apple books, you must do that. The Candy Apple books empower tween girls to always be themselves and trust in themselves. Bitten Apple books are age-appropriate paranormal novels, mostly dealing with vampires. The Bitten Apple books are a great way to properly introduce tweens into the paranormal category.

And now it looks like the Rotten Apple books are bringing zombies to tweenland, in an appropriate manner.

Title & Author: Mean Ghouls by Stacia Deutsch
Pages: 192
Publisher: Scholastic

Summary (from Goodreads):

 If Megan thought life at her new boarding school was going to be easy, she was dead wrong. All the students have the same mysterious virus--one that's slowly turning them all into zombies. The teachers at Zombie Academy are lifeless and the food stinks. Literally. And worst of all, the clique of popular mean girls who rule the school have already decided that Megan's dead to them.

All Megan wants is to get back to her old school and her old friends. But until a cure is found, she'll have to figure out how to survive middle school.

My thoughts:

The first tween zombie book I read, Mean Ghouls, opens with our heroine, Megan, having zombieitus and having to go to Zombie Academy, where so can be among her kind. Readers are treated to an undead world unlike their own, except in the realm of school. After all, the "mean girls" are everywhere, right? And if having zombieitus and having to deal with the "mean ghouls" isn't enough, now someone has stolen the cure.

Do you know what this novel reminded me of? Nancy Drew. Yep, you read that correctly. I felt the entire time as if I were in a Nancy Drew novel, sleuthing through the suspects and trying to figure out the crime. Except in this case we are dealing with zombies - and of course the symptoms that accompany being one. From the hilarity of dealing with the moaning to the rotten fruit/veggies the characters prefer to losing memory and having to constantly write everything down, readers are wrapped in a zombierific novel unlike any other.

Title & Author: Zombie Dog by Clare Hutton
Pages: 192
Publisher: Scholastic

Summary (from Goodreads):

Becky's family has moved right next door to the creepy, abandoned McNally house. Rumors fly around school about the ghosts and monsters that live there, and Becky isn't sure what to believe. Even her mischievous dog, Bear, stays away from it.

When Becky starts hearing mysterious howls coming from next door, paired with an awful smell, she starts to wonder if the rumors might be true. Snarls and glowing eyes confirm it--something is over there, and it's not happy. Worse, Becky's parents are blaming Bear for all the unexplained damage around their property. Can Becky stop this creature before it's too late?

My thoughts:

A super-cute zombie tale that is on the mild side. Inside of readers constantly being a part of the zombie world like Mean Ghouls, readers are a part of the living trying to solve a mystery: what is that smell and that noise? Could it possibly be a zombie?

Becky's neighborhood reminds me of my own - and of everyone's for that matter. After all, we all have that one house that everyone talks about but no one really knows the story behind.

Our main heroine is about to put all she knows and trusts to the test. She is slowly becoming estranged from her best friend because of the move, but she is also discovering new friends. This book deals with growing up just as much as it does zombies. Actually, zombies are a very small element of the story-telling. The author mostly builds the suspense with every creak, unknown howl, unknown smell. We are in the dark until the bitter end, and the author does a fantastic job wrapping up the story. Without revealing anything crucial, let me just say this: read this book. Get wrapped up in Becky's world and the mystery of the house next door.

I really enjoyed both of these novels. They were fun and easy to read. I am a bit of a scaredy cat, so for me to read a zombie book at night and feel secure is saying a lot. These are age-appropriate for tweens. There is nothing overly disgusting about them. And they are just a fun introduction into the world of zombies .

Have you read either of these two novels? Do you have a tween appropriate zombie tale to recommend? Comment below and let me know.

Happy Reading!

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