Synopses & Reviews
In this inventive, fast-paced novel, New York Times
bestselling and Printz Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi takes on hard-hitting themes — from food safety to racism and immigration — and creates a zany, grand-slam adventure that will get kids thinking about where their food comes from.
The zombie apocalypse begins on the day Rabi, Miguel, and Joe are practicing baseball near their town's local meatpacking plant and nearly get knocked out by a really big stink. Little do they know the plant's toxic cattle feed is turning cows into flesh-craving monsters! The boys decide to launch a stealth investigation into the plant's dangerous practices, unknowingly discovering a greedy corporation's plot to look the other way as tainted meat is sold to thousands all over the country. With no grownups left they can trust, Rabi and his friends will have to grab their bats to protect themselves (and a few of their enemies) if they want to stay alive... and maybe even save the world.
"Printz-winner Bacigalupi (Ship Breaker) defies the expectations of the comedy-horror genre, turning this zombie novel into an effective bit of social commentary while staying true to the story's grisly and goofy roots. In a small town dominated by Milrow Meat Solutions, Rabi Chatterjee-Jones is a normal kid, mostly concerned with not making a fool of himself playing baseball, and spending time with his friends Miguel and Joe. Shortly after Miguel's family illegal immigrants, like many who work in the meatpacking industry is deported, the boys run into a zombie and start to suspect that there's more than meets the eye at the plant. There are some familiar zombie-tale elements (yes, the zombies shout for 'brains,' and, no, the police don't believe the boys), but their biggest nemeses are corporate lawyers and plant managers. Bacigalupi rails against factory farming, the abuse of illegal immigrants, and ag-gag laws, but never lets the humorous elements fall by the wayside. Casual readers will have a blast, and those who look deeper will learn something, too. Ages 8 12. Agent: Martha Millard, Martha Millard Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Printz-winning Bacigalupi writing a middle-grade zombie novel? Yes, it really happened, and yes, it's pretty darn good....Simultaneously smart, funny, and icky, this book asks a tough question: Is it worth looking the other way in order to save yourself?" Booklist
"A high-energy, high-humor look at the zombie apocalypse...a signal alert to young teens to think about what they eat...sure to be appreciated by middle school zombie cognoscenti." Kirkus Reviews
"Defies the expectations of the comedy-horror genre, turning this zombie novel into an effective bit of social commentary while staying true to the story's grisly and goofy roots....Casual readers will have a blast, and those who look deeper will learn something, too." Publishers Weekly
"It's a testament to the author's skill that [the characters] express values of courage, friendship, and integrity as naturally as they toss off hilarious observations....[A] fast-paced home run." School Library Journal
"[Introduces] reluctant readers to activism through literature...a dark comedy with a bit of heart." The Bulletin
"Batting comes in handy beating down zombies....Will appeal to reluctant readers." Library Media Connection
About the Author
Paolo Bacigalupi is the author of the highly acclaimed The Drowned Cities and the New York Times bestselling Ship Breaker, which was also a Michael L. Printz Award winner and a National Book Award finalist. He is also the author of The Windup Girl and Pump Six and Other Stories, and is a Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, John W. Campbell Memorial, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award winner. He lives in western Colorado with his wife and son.