A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zombie Baseball Beatdown is a fast-paced horror comedy that also addresses serious real-life issues like immigration, bigotry, food safety, and factory farming. Set in and around a meat-processing plant, the story affords plenty of gross-out and bathroom humor. There's no sexual content or objectionable language, but there's a good deal of violence, most of it directed against zombies and depicted cartoonishly. Oddly, the main characters are never much concerned that the zombies they beat up were once their fellow townspeople.
What's the story?
Baseball teammates Rabi, Miguel, and Joe know the meatpacking plant in their town makes everything smell like spoiled meat and manure. But they aren't prepared when their mean coach turns into a flesh-chomping zombie and attacks them in the middle of a cornfield. There's definitely something nefarious happening at Milrow Meat Solutions, and Rabi and his friends set out to reveal its secrets all while avoiding immigration agents, creepy clean-up crews, bullies, and zombie cows.
Is it any good?
ZOMBIE BASEBALL BEATDOWN mixes gross-out comedy with serious issues like immigration and food safety, a combination that doesn't always work as smoothly as some readers might prefer. Rabi and his friends Miguel and Joe are well-drawn and appealing characters, and their charm goes a long way toward making the story work as well as it does. They are, however, oddly unconcerned that their neighbors are turning into shambling zombies that have to be subdued with baseball beatings. Without it spoiling the fun, a bit more empathy might be appropriate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why stories about zombies have become so popular. What is it about the idea of "the walking dead" that appeals to such a wide range of readers?
How safe do you think the food you eat is? What precautions should you take to ensure that what you eat is uncontaminated and healthy for you?
Why is immigration such a controversial issue, particularly in the United States? What are some arguments for reforming immigration laws?
- Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Friendship, Horses and Farm Animals, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: September 10, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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