Book Review: Case File 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage
The days might be getting warmer, but for anyone who wants to savor the winter chill, here is the perfect book to keep you tucked up tight under the covers (with all the lights on, of course). J. Scott Savage’s Case File 13: Zombie Kid.
Our story begins with the worst kind of news: Nick is going to miss Halloween this year. That means the other two Monsterteers—Carter and Angelo, Nick’s monster-loving best friends—will have to carry on without him. Hopefully they’ll save him some candy (although, knowing Carter, it’s not likely).
But soon the boys have more to worry about than leftover Butterfingers. Hidden in an old Louisiana cemetery is the beginning of a whole new set of problems. When Nick returns from his aunt’s funeral with an amulet and a bad case of the brain farts, the Monsterteers come to realize that they’re dealing with more than a wonky flu and a weird piece of jewelry.
No—it’s even better.
Nick has been turned into a zombie.
At first, being undead has its perks. If not for Nick’s new zombie status, Frankenstein—the school bully—might still be after them for an unfortunate incident with a candy bar. But after a while (and a few lost fingers) Nick decides that it’s time to rid himself of the curse of the zombie. The ensuing adventure involves more than just hilarious gross-outs. The three boys encounter a mysterious black cat with a chilling secret, a talking skeleton who loves candy corn, several ghosts (including one with a hankering for hot pastrami on rye), a piece of a departed soul, and a terrifying Zombie King.
Readers will love how quickly they jump from laughs to shivers, and the short chapters and bone-chilling cliffhangers will keep them reading well past bedtime, though they might want to keep the lights on. And though the book has plenty to do with facing the undead, Savage also deals with real-world bravery, like how to treat a bully and what to do when a girl shows up at your house for dinner (answer: handle the mashed potatoes with care!) This shows us that when scary things come at us in full daylight, we can face them without losing our heads (or our brains… mmmm brains…)
In sum, Zombie Kid was the perfect brew of horror and humor, heart and guts. Any Monsterteer in your life would do well to get his claws, paws, and tentacles on this book.
Recommended for: Anyone, but especially fans of spooks and sprites. For those who might be reading before bedtime, every chapter heading has a warning of what’s to come. My favorite was Chapter 27: Can you really have too many cemetery chapters in a scary story? If your answer is no, then this is the book for you. A parting tip: when it says it’s going to be gross, it won’t disappoint!