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A Small Zombie Problem by K. G. Campbell

A Small Zombie Problem

by K. G. Campbell

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A Small Zombie Problem, K. G. Campbell's middle grade fiction debut, is a fun, quirky, Southern Gothic-flavored tale of family, secrets, family secrets, and zombies, obviously. August DuPont lives with his Aunt Hydrangea in their dilapidated family estate, the last members of the DuPont family and heirs to quickly dwindling DuPont's Peppy Pepper Sauce dynasty. August lives a solitary and lonely life, as he has never left his house at his aunt's insistence (she is agoraphobic and has convinced August that the outside world is a terrifying place). However, one day the grocery delivery boy drops a box of August's favorite snack, Mudd Pies, and August sees his opportunity to take a quick step outside to retrieve his snacks. Of course, this doesn't go nearly as well as August expects it to and sets in motion an adventure that involves a long hidden family pepper sauce secret, newly discovered family, a white alligator, and a wee bit of a zombie problem.

I really enjoyed Campbell's almost timeless presentation of the story (we're never really quite sure when this story takes place) and his accompanying illustrations are delightfully creepy. The story feels very atmospheric at times, and Campbell's writing is spot on creepy when it needs to be, and he also writes some surprisingly beautiful turns of phrase. I was suitably impressed several times with his writing style. August starts out so quiet and introverted and his blossoming confidence throughout the story is handled very well, and Claudette's inclusion as an actual character instead of the zombie plot device is a nice change of pace.

The book starts out a little slow, but as the action picks up, things move along fairly quickly. The ending seems a little abrupt, but the cliffhanger should leave young readers anxious for the next book in the series. I know I'll be looking forward to it.

I'd like to thank Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of A Small Zombie Problem in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  tapestry100 | Jul 9, 2019 |
Series opener. August DuPont has never left his crumbling old house, Locust Hole, where he lives with his Aunt Hydrangea, whose best days are behind her. She mourns the loss of the family fortune, based on a recipe for chili pepper sauce, and of August's mother, and she resents the betrayal of her other sister, Orchid, marrying into rival family the Malveaus. When Beauregard Malveau discovers August's existence, he tells his mother, who invites him to their mansion - but only because she wants him to search for the legendary "Zombie Stone" - Cadaverite - that she believes is somewhere in his house. With this stone, their ancestor Orfeo raised the dead - and so does August, accidentally.

See also: The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon, The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood ( )
1 vote JennyArch | Jul 8, 2019 |
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