A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.