Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Review: Zomboy

Publish February 27, 2014

ZomboyZomboy Richard Scrimger 978-1-44341-068-7 HarperCollins Mar. 2014. 228 pp. Ages 10-14. Westwood Elementary is an inclusive school that welcomes children from diverse backgrounds, but when Imre Lazar enrolls in the seventh grade class, twelve-year-old Bob Fuller thinks they’ve gone too far. Killed by a radiation leak that wiped out his entire town, Imre has “walking-dead syndrome,” and is being integrated into society as an army experiment in dead/undead relations. Bob’s reservations about Imre’s suitability for public school are shared by others, and Imre soon becomes embroiled in a local dispute over his school attendance. But Imre converts the people of Dresden, by starring in his own Youtube video, running for class president, and leading the high school football team to their first victory in years. As Bob overcomes his prejudice and gradually befriends Imre, he uncovers some disturbing details about the army experiment that could have disastrous consequences for the town of Dresden. Award-winning author and perennial favourite, Richard Scrimger, returns with wit, gore, and zany zombie antics in Zomboy, a humourous spoof of the modern quest for an inclusive society. Overweight, neurotic, and unswervingly logical, Bob is an accessible voice of reason amidst the hysterical politics that overtake Dresden, and children will recognize and understand his hesitance and suspicion, even as they delight in Imre’s accidental popularity. Although the abrupt ending feels somewhat unfinished, Zomboy builds to a satisfying climax as befits a good zombie novel. Scrimger’s lighthearted take on zombie fiction is a fast and frenzied ride through the world of political correctness, with an unobtrusive lesson on empathy and acceptance thrown into the bargain. Karen Doerksen Karen Doerksen lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with her husband and four children. She works for the Edmonton Public Library, and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This review, and all of our children’s book reviews, are free to reprint and repost.