SPECIAL DEAD by Patrick Freivald


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Just because Ani is a zombie doesn’t mean she’s not entitled to a free and appropriate education, right?

A little over a year after the Prompocalypse that left 26 dead and 10—eight students and two teacher chaperones—infected with the Chinese weaponized zombie virus that wiped out Los Angeles, the kids are going back to school. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Banerjee and Ani’s mom, Dr. Romero, they’ve been kept successfully undead, and as long as the courts are undecided as to their humanity, their old school has to educate them. Kind of. They are segregated in a “Special Dead” classroom, must wear helmets and mouth guards, and are allowed only crayons to write with. A flamethrower-armed guard is on duty at all times to turn any suddenly violent zombie into a heap of ash. Freivald follows up his successful debut, Twice Shy (2012), with an equally enjoyable sequel. He populates the Special Dead classroom with a terrific mix of personalities, including both high achievers and kids in genuine need of special ed. That one of these is Mike, Ani’s crush from the first book whose brain she partially ate, triggering the Prompocalypse, is especially poignant. As in the first book, dark humor balances deftly with out-and-out horror, the mundane realities of undeath providing ample opportunity for both.

Another fire-and-brimstone end sets up a third outing; fans will be slavering for it. (Horror. 14 & up)

Pub Date: July 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-936564-80-4
Page count: 260pp
Publisher: JournalStone
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2013


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