Thus far, 2009 has been a relatively strong year for zombie fiction. Armies of the undead have graced the pages of numerous new releases, most notably The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, Mario Acevedo’s Jailbait Zombie, Road Trip of the Living Dead  by Mark Henry, and, of course, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies  by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.

But the most interesting – and memorable – zombie fiction release so far this year has to be My Rotten Life by David Lubar. The first installment of Lubar’s Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie series, this young adult book chronicles the life and times of fifth-grader Nate Abercrombie as he inadvertently comes in contact with an experimental substance – called Hurt-Be-Gone, “the world’s first all-natural, totally safe emotion killer…it takes only one drop to wash away all your sorrows” –  and, well, begins turning into a zombie. As Nathan, his buddy Mookie, and an extremely intelligent (and eccentric) girl named Abigail race to find a cure for his predicament, the undead ten-year old also has to deal with nosey parents, bullies at school, being a really bad video game player – a "vidiot" – and making sure not to lose any rotting appendages!

And, as with any middle-grade read, there are numerous gross references – disgustingly smelly burps, puking in school, a gym teacher with blue veins on his head like “tiny candy worms,” etc. – but amidst all of the prepubescent antics, Lubar manages to include a few deeply existential lines that young readers will be able to take with them as they grow older and enter the adult world.


Here’s my favorite: “I guess, sometimes, you just have to take the wedgie.”

So, if any of you reading this blog know of any budding fantasy fans, I’d highly suggest seeking out this book, which was just released a few days ago. And, as we’ve discussed many times before in’s community forums, children’s books aren’t just for kids; I read My Rotten Life and loved it – definitely two (rotting) thumbs up.

Any novel, regardless of categorization, that features zombies AND wedgies is a must-read in my book…

Message Edited by paulgoatallen on 08-05-2009 09:14 AM
by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎08-05-2009 09:31 AM
Thanks, Paul!  I know just the 12 year old boy who'll love this!  Perhaps "sometime you gotta take the wedgie' will replace 'nobody expects the Spanish inquisition' as the random quote of choice in our household.
by on ‎08-05-2009 10:48 AM



Another book to look for or ask for at the library.  I have to tell my grandnephews about this book.



by on ‎08-05-2009 03:38 PM

Thanks Paul.


I will show this to my 10 year old son.  He may have to get it when he sees it.  It sounds as though there is not any scary, scary parts which is good for my son.  (He gets a little worried at times, well since about 4 years ago he went through a bad spell of being petrified of zombies and vampires - just something he came up with and scared himself with, I don't know where he got it from.)


It sounds like another wonderful book to read together.



by on ‎08-06-2009 05:49 PM
OK, your article definitely caught my interest. This looks like a book to buy for a kid I know. That way I can borrow it and read it. I have to say that a piece of your title ("Can You Give the Undead a Wedgie?") helped sell the book. Looks like it is right up my alley, even if I'm a 'little' out of the age range.
by on ‎08-16-2009 08:59 AM
I just finished reading this book. It is great, no matter what age group you are. I will be passing it on. I see there is a sequel coming. Put this down as a book to give out for gifts. Or as I just did buy the book, read it and pass it on.
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