Recommended for ages 8-12
Matt Hunter is psyched for Christmas. He wants the newest peripheral for his favorite sword and sorcery game, Runespell, and his friends are hoping to get the same gift so they can play online together. The only problem is, Matt rarely gets what he wants for Christmas, and this year’s no exception. His parents give him a hamster named Snuffles.
The thing is, Matt and his family and friends live in a post-zombie apocalypse society (that’s doing pretty darn well for themselves), where they live behind giant bug zapper-type walls and have Zombie Squads for zombie disposal. Citizens are life-chipped, so when they die, Zombie Squads can take care of corpse removal. So when Snuffles gets away from Matt, only to return home, die, and reanimate, Matt just figures the Squad will come. Until they don’t, and he realizes Snuffles – now known as Anti-Snuffles – came from a sketchy pet shop. To keep his father out of trouble for making such a purchase, he keeps Anti-Snuffles a secret, but Anti-Snuffles has plans for world domination on his mind. Matt also learns that he’s got even bigger things to worry about when a school survival expedition is attacked by zombies. Can Matt set everything right?
My Zombie Hamster is great reading for middle-grade students, particularly those students finding themselves bored by mainstream class reading. It’s got a lot of humor – Matt’s first-person voice is alternately sarcastic, funny, and sweet – and the story takes a surprising turn that gives it an added layer of depth. The book hits shelves on July 8th – libraries interested can stock up now and get ready for summer reading!