|Better off undead|
Author: Preller, James
Adrian Lazarus, who became a zombie just before starting middle school, and new friends Gia, Zander, and Talal, navigate a mystery involving global warming, disappearing bees, and billionaire developers.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 192733
School Library Journal (08/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2017 Gr 4–7—Adrian Lazarus is a middle school zombie, the result of an accident that left him "as undead as a toenail and not really thrilled about it." The book is similar to Paolo Bacigalupi's Zombie Baseball Beatdown; however, this cautionary tale is more than just a brain-eating gross-out. Set in the not-too-distant future when humanity is suffering from numerous self-inflicted woes, this story's villains are the Bork Brothers, owners of K & K Industries, "the richest, most powerful corporation on the planet" and also the source of much of the planet's environmental troubles. Like The Wizard of Oz, to which this book makes frequent allusions, the Bork Brothers control the world behind a curtain of extreme privacy, "pour[ing] their millions of dollars into helping certain politicians win elections." With one of the brothers dying, they attempt to kidnap Adrian, hoping to glean the secret of cheating death. Adrian foils this plot with the help of his friends, one of whom is a thinly disguised Demeter-like creature. While following these fantastic adventures, readers learn about real environmental issues, such as the vanishing of bees, with the clear message to not be a "zombie," but to instead take action to protect the planet before it is too late. VERDICT This uproarious middle grade call to action has considerable kid appeal and a timely message. A strong addition to school and public library collections.—Eileen Makoff, P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School, NY - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.