Tag Archives: zombies

A break from poetry for zombies

19 Apr

Faithful readers know I don’t do scary. Normally, I wouldn’t read a book about zombies. But the cover of Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation was just too enticing.

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A work of alternate history, the book is set in a world where slavery has been abolished Despite that,  Native Americans and African-Americans aren’t treated much better than before the war and the rise of the zombies.

Ireland’s word-building is great. I was totally immersed in this new America. I was especially grateful that the book wasn’t scary and  descriptions of the killing of zombies weren’t graphic or gross. They were treated rather matter-of-factly, which was just right given the tone of Jane’s narration.

The story bogged down a bit in the middle when we were transported out of Maryland and into Summerland, Kansas, but I kept going because I really liked Jane. A few mature topics, like prostitution, are mentioned obliquely, but I feel very comfortable putting this one in my classroom library.

Publisher’s Summary:Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

When I first picked it up, I thought it was a stand alone. Although the ending is satisfactory, as I approached it, I realized this was the  first book in a series because no way were all the loose ends going to be tied up. So, I will have await the second book to find out if Jane will ever get to see her mother again.

Zombies aren’t for everyone

5 Sep

Here’s a book I almost didn’t read. I don’t really enjoy zombie books, but I can think of several boys who would find My Zombie Hamster  by Havelock McCreely, just perfect.

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The story is set in a world where zombies are a given. People wear chips to monitor their life signs and when they die, the monitor lets officials know they are dead. If the monitor says you are dead and you are still walking……

Our protagonist, Matt, gets a hamster for Christmas instead of the game component he wanted. He doesn’t really pay Snuffles much attention until he dies and becomes a zombie hamster, renamed Anti-Snuffles.  When Anti-Snuffles escape and starts turning neighbors’ pets and woodland creatures into an animal zombie army, Matt and his pals try to catch him and save the world.

The humor in the book is just what an upper elementary, early middle schooler will love. As with many middle grade books, the adults don’t come off as very smart or competent,  but they seem that way to a lot of middle graders away.

The book is a quick read: only 200 pages with a largish font.

I bet you know someone who might enjoy reading it.

 

2014 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #6

15 Mar

A bit of a slow reading week. I am madly trying to finish sweaters for an auction. They will be late, but I think that;s probably built into the plan.I managed 3 books, brining my total to 30 so far.

28. MIND MGMT V.1: The Manager by Matt Kindt  – A graphic novel I didn’t enjoy much.

29. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina – A reread. I loved this as much the second time as I did the first. If you haven;t read it, please do. Don;t be put off by the title. It is all about a girl being bullied and definitely worth reading.

30. Zombie Baseball Breakdown by Paolo Bacigalupi -This was my big surprise of the week.

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I would never have chosen this book based on the cover. For me, it’s a turn real turn off. Thank goodness it was son the list because I’m really glad I read it. It is sort of Upton Sinclair’s Jungle  meets  Shaun of the Dead. It’s all about the meat-packing industry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, illegal immigration. It’s a funny book tackling some serious issues. So, as with Yaqui Delgado, look past the cover and give it a try.

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