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Publisher: Harper, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2012
Material: hard cover
Summary: When the story opens, Zack and the Zombie Chasers are just outside Memphis, TN. They were heading back to Arizona with the antidote to un-zomblify Zack's parents. But now they're stuck and they had to tell the President they crashed his chopper. So they rent an RV and end up at the zombified Mall of America. Will this Zombie apocalypse ever end? They are going to have to get more serum to save the country. But how? Lots of illustrations fill this middle-grade novel about a group of zombie-chasing friends.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 11 and up
Interest Level: 9 to 13
Reading Level: 6.1
Age of Child: Read by an 11-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our reader spent more time with the drawings than the writing. She kept asking "what's happening" and we kept saying "you need to read to find out." Eventually, she settled into the book, but got bored about halfway through.
Adult Reader Reaction: The story got repetitious quickly. Some of the humor - like zombie Elvis' taking over Memphis - was lost on our reader. In general, the story covers a lot of the "usual" ground in preteen books, particularly between Zack and his sister Zoe. It would be nice to have less insult and more creativity.
Pros: Readers looking to save the world from zombies will get a kick out of this adventure.
Cons: There aren't a lot of "fresh" twists, turns, or character traits.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. We found the book to be "eh," but can easily see how other readers might love the humor and adventure.
Educational Themes: This is a book for fun reading. There are plenty of illustrations, which makes it a nice choice for kids who are still developing their skills.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub for review consideration because we provide an independent, unbiased profiles. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, fantasy, friendship, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: April 2014
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.