Case File 13: Zombie Kid



Goofy horror tale has light scares and lots of body humor.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Case File 13: Zombie Kid uses the folklore of New Orleans and the actual religion of vodoun as springboards for a hair-raising, humorous story about voodoo and zombies. Although some of the vocabulary of vodoun is used, the presentation of its practice should not be taken as accurate in any way.

Positive messages

Case File 13: Zombie Kid emphasizes the importance of friendship and loyalty. Nick and his buddies are all prepared to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

Positive role models

Nick and his friends in Case File 13: Zombie Kid are obsessed with monsters and Halloween, but their pranks and ideas for costumes are all pretty harmless. Nick, Carter, and Angelo all sneak out of their houses and keep information from their parents, but their fibs are necessary if the plot has any hope of moving forward.


Case File 13: Zombie Kid features only a small amount of violence. The local bully threatens to beat up Nick and his friends, and they engage in a small, bloodless scuffle. The climactic battle against the Zombie King features magical threats and an army of zombies, but there are no explicit descriptions of gore or brain-eating.


There's a very buried subtext of flirtation between Nick and his male friends and the neighborhood girls they compete against in creating the spookiest Halloween costumes.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Case File 13: Zombie Kid is a suspenseful but still very silly horror tale, with lots of jokes about vomit, body odor, and other gross biological functions. The three main characters are obsessed with Halloween and monsters, but their pranks are mostly harmless.

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What's the story?

Nick is hugely disappointed when the death of his great-aunt in New Orleans causes him to miss Halloween at home with his friends Carter and Angelo. To make matters worse, he returns with a cursed amulet that has turned him into a real-life zombie. \"The Three Monsterteers\" at first think Nick's state of undeath is cool, but after the dreaded Zombie King shows up, they band together to remove the curse -- not only for Nick's sake but for the fate of the entire world!

Is it any good?


CASE FILE 13: ZOMBIE KID is a goofy, humorous horror adventure likely to please readers who enjoy monsters, light scares, and plenty of jokes about body functions. Nick and his friends are exaggerated types, but their interplay feels relaxed and realistic. Don't pretend, though, that the zombie mumbo-jumbo in the plot has much to do with the actual practice of vodoun and other Caribbean religions/folklore.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the horror genre in books and movies. What's so fun about scary stories? 

  • Why is Halloween such a special holiday to many kids? What are your favorite parts of the day?

  • Is it OK to sneak out of the house at night? What are some of the dangers of being out alone after midnight?

Book details

Author:J. Scott Savage
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Friendship, Holidays, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:December 26, 2012
Number of pages:288
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Available on:Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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