Brains For Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! K. A. Holt, illus. Gahan Wilson
Eye poked out again
Bottom lockers really suck
"Hey Mags! Wait for me!"
"This Zs gotta pee."
"So you ARE talking to me?"
Another eye roll
Catch it, hand it back
"What did I do this time, Mags?"
A withering look
She doesn't scare me
Her wither's worse than her roll
"She's married, you know."
Mags cut to the chase
It sure took her long enough
"Who, Mrs. Fincher?"
"Who else, you moron?"
I'm putrefying again
"The way you flirt. Barf."
"You think she thinks that I think--"
"You're such a tool, Loeb."
"And there you have it,
Loeb's idiocy exposed,
His heart is laid bare."
"I'll lay you bare, Matt."
It's my turn to roll eyes.
Carl. "Stupid Chupo."
"Don't be a racist."
"Don't be a weird goat sucker."
Making it worse, Loeb.
K. A. Holt has taken zombie haiku and combined it with the verse novel. So, it's a story, a novel in verse, but the verse is all haiku. And the story is about zombies. And chupacabres. And lifers (like you and me, unless Biblio File has a large paranormal following that I am unaware of, although that would be pretty cool.)
The plot is pretty simple-- Loeb is a zombie boy in junior high teases and gets teased by his zombie friends. He has a crush on a life girl, but even though the school is supposed to be desegregated, the zombies and lifers stick to their own. The Chupos do, too, but intermingle more with the zombies. With the help of a lifer librarian (Mrs. Fischer) Loeb starts to think that maybe he is smart enough to join the school's poetry showcase, which tends to be lifer-only.
As you can see from the text above, it's pretty funny and gross, but the brevity of the haiku novel can make some things a little hard to understand. Luckily, Gahan Wilson has illustrated the book, to give a little more context. The above excerpt has 2 pictures. One is of Loeb talking to Mags, with his eye dangling out of his face. The other is of Loeb, Mags, Matt, and Carl, which is a very useful visual clue that there are multiple people in the conversation, which makes it make more sense.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. It's geared towards middle grade, rather than YA, which is nice. I'm so glad to have solid middle grade titles about YA trends, because the trends trickle down in terms of reader interest, but the books don't always do so...
I think my favorite bits were the small touches-- that Loeb is named Loeb,that they use Durian fruit as a quick substitute for brains because zombies think they smell good (HA!) and a when someone gives you the finger, it's only polite to give it back.
Today's round-up is over at The Blog with the Cleverly Shocking Title. Go check it out!
ARC Provided by... the publisher at ALA
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