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by K.A. Holt & illustrated by Gahan Wilson

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-629-9
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

“Brains for lunch again / ‘Stop moaning and just eat it.’ / Lunch lady humor.” Middle schooler Loeb (pun intended) is a Zombie. The “Zs” reluctantly share a school with “Lifers” and a few “Chupos” (Chupacabras). Tensions run so high that few cross the line. Then Lifer girl Siobhan seems to be everywhere. Is she just selling her potions or does she have another motive for consorting with Zs? Loeb decides to prove all Zombies aren’t idiots by entering the school poetry contest, to great effect: The Zombie gets the girl. Holt’s “zombie novel in haiku” is haiku in shape only; the nature focus and revelatory final line are missing from these triplets. The arc of Loeb’s story is often hard to follow due to the constraints of the verse, and his triumph at the poetry slam and getting the girl just aren’t believable. Wilson’s line drawings are good, gross-out fun, but they can’t carry the flimsy plot. An interesting notion squeezed into what feels like a school poetry assignment gone overlong. Final art not seen. (Novel in verse. 9-12)