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A Small Zombie Problem by K.G. Campbell

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

Publisher/date: Knopf Books for Young Readers (June 4, 2019)

Genre: Children's Spooky Stories (I don't call them Horror because that implies too scary!)

Series: Zombie Problems Book 1

August is a ten year old boy who, as far as he can remember, has never left his home. So the run-down mansion he lives in with his hermit aunt doesn't seem that strange. Nor does his "medical condition," a condition which makes butterflies attracted to him.

But August longs for contact with the outside world. For friends. For an epic high-five. When he discovers that he has cousins, he thinks that all his dreams are finally coming true. All he wants is to fit in with them. But the zombie who found him might make that a little difficult.

The story itself is very good, and the writing style entertaining if overtly thesaurus-y. Yes, I’m making that an adjective. It applies here. My 7 year old loved the story, but it took us quite a while to get through because he was constantly asking me what words meant. And it put the five year old right to sleep because he couldn’t understand enough to be entertained.

I found the reading level to be confusing as well. The story is appropriate for pretty young kids, I’d say a 6 year old would find it very entertaining. But the vocabulary was a much higher level, and most children under 10 would have to read it alongside a dictionary. When there is a wide gap like that, it can leave kids feeling frustrated.

This book breaks my number one cardinal rule of books - it has no ending. No resolution. No place to say goodbye. Just an introduction to a second book that will start off exactly where this one left off like a next chapter. Sigh.

My kids don't have such rules as their tastes are not discerning yet. The 7 year old loves zombies, and said he wants to find out what happens next. So...3/5, I'll probably have to buy the next one for him.

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