A tantalizing start to a delightfully macabre new series.

A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM

From the Zombie Problems series , Vol. 1

Hot sauce, butterflies, and zombies—oh my!

When you’re a lonely little boy who would like nothing more than to make friends, it is decidedly unhelpful that you are white as a sheet and often confused with a ghost due to having lived your entire life inside a dilapidated manor, or that you have a strange condition that unfailingly attracts butterflies that hover about your head, or that eccentric Aunt Hydrangea, whom you live with, won’t stop talking about your family’s failed hot-sauce empire. But even with all these setbacks, August DuPont manages to capture the attention of another aunt he didn’t know he had, who invites August to meet her and his two cousins. Aunt Orchid proposes that she and August can help each other: He can look in his house for a rare stone and family heirloom that Orchid wants for her jewel collection, and in exchange she can send him to school. But his hopes of normalcy are seemingly dashed when a long-dead relative inexplicably pops out of her grave and refuses to leave August’s side. In his middle-grade authorial debut, Campbell has crafted an endearing protagonist and intriguing cast (even a sweet zombie) and set them adrift in a haze of family mystery with such elements as giant white alligators and undead magic shows for added flair. His frequent black-and-white pictures add humor and depict August’s family (both living and dead) as white.

A tantalizing start to a delightfully macabre new series. (Supernatural mystery. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-553-53955-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart.

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE ZOMBIE PARADE

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 2

Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan and his crew of monster-fighting besties are fresh off their victorious battle against the evil Blarg, but there’s no rest for the weary in the middle of a Monster Apocalypse.

First, Joe’s Pizza has become the local monster hangout. And second, the zombies seem to be disappearing. Thankfully, the white boy, his not-so-secret Latina love, June Del Toro, his African-American, science-nerd best friend, Quint, and pre-apocalypse bully–turned-ally Dirk, a large white boy who loves to garden, befriend a man-monster who might have the answers to everything. Equal parts humor, adventure, and warmth, the book offers fans of the series and new readers alike an entirely agreeable outing. Jack’s witty narration and Holgate’s pitch-perfect illustrations make for a terrific read that’s particularly well suited for middle-grade boys who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. There are plenty of foul-smelling, brain-sucking monsters and gizmos and gadgets to delight, but at its core, this is a story about friendship. Orphaned at birth and raised by a foster family he describes as jerks, Jack has always longed for a family of his own. Now that he has one, the only thing scarier than the monsters is the thought of losing them.

An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart. (Horror. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-670-01662-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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