Valentino, S. (2010). How to Be a Zombie: A Hands-On Guide for Anyone with Brains. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Plot Summary: This book is divided into the three parts. It begins with a section on different types of zombies and information about how to survive as a zombie. The second section includes tips for zombie fashion, how to do makeup to look like a zombie and fun events to do once you have been zombified. The last section includes resources for learning more about zombies including books, movies, and games.
Critical Evaluation: This book is well organized and put together. The text references many different types of zombies that are based on different zombie books and movies. Some of these references are more subtle and others are pretty blunt but it is still fun to see which references readers catch. The book is full of cool art work and combines media in the illustrations, photographs, and comics throughout the book. The book is written as a how to guide for newly created zombies and humans that are considering becoming zombies or are curious about zombies. The book is primarily written as if addressing a zombie though so some of the changes between addressing a zombie vs addressing a human can be a little awkward, One of the best things about the book are all the resources listed for readers to learn more about zombies. The selected materials cover a variety of formats and types of zombies. The one thing some teens may object to is the author’s warnings that they may need to check with their parents about some materials that are more gory. However, there are only a few of these warnings and some readers will appreciate them.
Reader’s Annotation: Do you have an obsession with zombies maybe you’re having a craving for brains or are just curious about these undead creatures, if so this is the book for you.
Author Information: Serena Valention has written two graphic the novels GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales. She has also written a guide on how to be a werewolf and has written books for Disney Press. She currently lives in San Fransico and is working on her third book about Disney about Ursala.
Booktalk Ideas: 1) What zombie books and movies did you noticed being referenced in the first part of the book?
2) Which of the suggested books have you read and which would you like to read?
Reading Level & Interest Level: The book is listed as being for readers age 12-17 which properly reflects both the reading and interest level.
Challenge Issues: Some of the content is gross or gory but it is all clearly fake the book even shows readers how to so zombie makeup. This book is well reviewed and encourages readers to further their reading by listing novels and graphic novels featuring zombies.
Why is it included?: I wanted to include a non-fiction book that was clearly just for fun. Some people think that all non-fiction is boring and serious so which is completely untrue. This is a book that I would want to display in the non-fiction section to draw readers over and show them that non-fiction can be just as fun as fiction.