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 BarnesandNoble.com’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…