I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Small Zombie Problem by K.G. Campbell
Genres: Middle Grade
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on June 4, 2019
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In his fiction debut--and the start of a new series--celebrated illustrator K.G. Campbell brings a touch of Tim Burton to this singularly strange and wonderful story about a lonely boy whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when a zombie follows him home.
August DuPont has spent his whole life inside a dilapidated house with his aunt Hydrangea. His lonely existence ends abruptly with the arrival of an invitation to meet an aunt--and cousins--he didn't even know existed. When Aunt Orchid suggests that August attend school with his cousins, it's a dream come true. But August has scarcely begun to celebrate his reversal of fortune when he is confronted by a small problem on his way home. So begins an adventure filled with a wild child, a zombie, a fabled white alligator, and an unimaginable family secret.
Here is what I thought
A Small Zombie Problem was a cute middle grade book about a lonely boy who just wants to make friends but it gets complicated when a zombie girl follows him home.
August is a very sheltered boy who lives with this eccentric Aunt Hydrangea who is a bit stuck in her past glory of being the Chili Pepper Princess. She is pretty much afraid of everything so August has never even been outside. He was stuck inside making interesting little skeleton people and watching TV through his binoculars and based the outside world kind of on that show.
Then one day the grocery delivery comes during the rain and the delivery boy leaves his favorite snack out in a puddle so he decides to be brave and go get it and this one thing will upend his life as he knows it. Because of going outside he meets some kids his age, which one turns out to be a cousin he didn’t know he had. There was been a long rival between two brothers who made Chili Pepper Sauce and the Malveau and the DuPonts have been feuding ever since. When Orchid DuPont married a Malveau she was cut off from the DuPonts so August never knew about them.
Finding his new relatives he thought was going to be the best thing ever but on his way to their house something weird happens that will eventually cause things to turn out a lot different than he would have hoped. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that his family has a gem called a Cadaverite or Zombie Stone, which is why he ends up with a zombie following him around.
I liked August and felt bad for him being all cooped up in the house and how much he wanted to have a friend. When I was young I remember being the loner so I could relate.
I think this book will appeal more to young readers than adults because it does have a slightly slow pacing for half the book, but I think young readers might enjoy getting to know August and it would work better for them. As I review this I am thinking about how I think as if I was a young reader. That being said I think some of the characters names would be a little hard for some kids to pronounce. You can see some of those names in my review here and it could make it hard on the kids reading it especially if they are not vocab whiz.
That aside I thought the book was cute and since it’s a series I am curious to see what kind of adventures and trouble August gets into because of the way it ended it looks like he is in for lots of shenanigans!
This is the author is an illustrator but this is his first actual debut novel as a writer.