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The Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer, illustrated by Steve Wolfhard

The Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer, illustrated by Steve Wolfhard is a graphic novel of sorts for kids age 8-12.  Zombies are flooding the quiet Arizona neighborhood while parents are at the school with teachers and Zack is being duct-taped to a chair by his big sister, Zoe, and her girlfriends, Madison, and Ryan.  Locked in his room, Zack scrambles for a way out and water to wash off the clown makeup his sister put on his face.  As he sneaks out into the kitchen to get the last piece of his his birthday cake, he spies his crush, Madison, forking bites of the cake into her own mouth.  As they argue about the cake, the zombies make their way into the house, forcing the two unlikely companions up into Zack’s room where they formulate an escape.

The illustrations are black and white and accompanying the events in the text as Zack, Madison, and Zack’s best friend, Rice, hack their way through town.  Rice thinks of himself as a zombie expert, and like typical kids, there’s arguing about who’s an ugly faced dork, and who’s a snotty brat.  There are funny moments, gross moments, and scary moments as the kids try to escape the zombies and find a solution.

“In the midst of her tantrum, she’d neglected to notice the huge pair of tighty-whities hanging around her neck.  She ripped them off her head quickly and threw them at Zack.”  (Page 58)

“Both his lips were gone, leaving a jagged bloodstained gash where the bottom half of his face should have been.  His gums had shriveled, exposing the roots of his teeth.  It looked like he had just won first place in a cherry pie-eating contest.”  (Page 101)

Kloepfer creates a group of kids that reminds me of the group in Steven King’s IT, a group of misfits banding together to fight or fly away from evil.  Only in this graphic novel, the kids are more comical than serious.  While there are moments of bullying and peer pressure, there is more zombie fun, grossness, and scrambling from place to place.  While the illustrations are fun, they are not necessary, but it would be better if they were more vivid with color.  The Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer, illustrated by Steve Wolfhard is a fun start to a series of books, but be warned there is a major cliffhanger.

About the Author:

John Kloepfer first started writing at five with a short story of only one sentence. Now, he has authored many full length novels in The Zombie Chasers series. John is currently an official Zombie Chaser living in New York City.

About the Illustrator:

Steve Wolfhard is a Canadian with a knack for illustrations. His drawings can be seen in the Zombie Chaser series. Steve is also the creator of Cat Rackham and the beloved new cartoon character, Turtie.

This is my 6th book for the 2013 New Authors Challenge.

  • Sounds perfect for Booking Son. He loves funny graphic novels.
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  • This one gets checked out all of the time from my middle school library!

    • I seem to see a trend with the recent middle-grade books I’ve reviewed…they are popular at your library!

  • I know The Girl has this one from BEA a few years ago. I don’t think she’s read it yet. It sounds like fun, but it also sounds like color illustrations would have been better.
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    • I saw it languishing on the shelf and checked it out. It was a really quick, fun read. I’d probably read others.

  • This sounds like so much fun and I do love zombies!

    • I did like this one a great deal, even though I’m not the target audience.

  • That looks like a lot of fun!!

    • It was a great read for some down time on Friday night.