Yesterday was the first library day of the new school year.  Wow, was it busy!  There were scheduling mishaps, library etiquette to teach, shelves to straighten throughout the day, and a Scholastic order to catalog and shelve.  What happens on the shelf with R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series is usually a good indicator of my day, and at one point, it was a complete mess, with the series going every which way and partially in a heap.  Yup, the new 2nd graders were excited to be able to check those previously taboo (by teacher ruling) spooky books that have remained popular since my youth.

A new book is also on that shelf as of yesterday.  I read it before the big day, and now that I have some breathing room, here’s my review!  This is Zombie Winter, by Jason Strange.

Statistics
Checkouts: New to the library, courtesy of the Superiorland Preview Center
Typical reader: Elementary students who also like Goosebumps

Synopsis: Kane goes to school one winter’s day, and ends up being the sole human in a zombie-infested town.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars

I was never a reader of scary stories as a child.  I can recognize their lasting popularity, though, and not just by how messy the shelf with all the Goosebumps novels is by the end of a library day.  Kids like things that spook them.  This is such a book.  It’s a quick read, aimed at children aged 8-11.  The sentences are simple, and the plot is pretty easy to follow.  It’s a chapter book with illustrations scattered throughout; the artist behind these did a good, realistic job.

I enjoyed it for its different zombie background.  These zombies were chocolate zombies, of all things!  Kane is allergic to chocolate and doesn’t partake of the lunch lady’s hot cocoa, unlike the rest of his friends and classmates.  This saves him from becoming a mind-controlled zombie, and the burden of curing the town falls on his shoulders.  The zombies were not undead, but more along the classic Haitian voodoo zombies – alive but under a spell that saps their free will.  I liked that.

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