Undead Book Picks

Let me first say that the Midseason Premiere of The Walking Dead Season 6 was AMAZING!

All the haters for that episode need to just move along because it was the perfect mix of comic book storytelling and an uplifting turn on the well-deserved show descriptor “misery porn.”

With that being said, my zombie obsession is therefore still alive and well. Since Valentine’s Day is for zombies this year, I wanted to make a list of some of my YA zombie book picks:


The Unconventional Zombie Tale — Undead by Kirsty McKay


This story focuses on new girl Bobby and the local high school bad boy Smitty. They are the only two to stay behind on the bus while an entire class field trip is converted into ravenous undead. With a female lead who rises spectacularly to the hardcore occasion, this zombie novel is rather different than most of them which focus on a guy lead. Also, many of the traditional zombie flick tropes are actually parodied in the story. This book is definitely the choice for those who want something a little different.


The Classic — Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

rot and ruin

Considered to now be one of the tried and true classics of the YA zombie genre. It is a zombie story with a post-apocalyptic twist. The main character is 15-year-old Benny who becomes a zombie hunter to help defend his city from the undead. The only problem is that there is a conspiracy afoot and the zombie horde might not be what they seem.


The Survival Story — Sick by Tom Leveen


This book is somewhat of a “locked room” scenario coupled with zombie survival. Almost all the students and teachers at a high school are turned into bloodthirsty attackers. Brian and his best friend manage to find a safe place to stay with a bunch of theater kids, but they must get to Brian’s sister and his ex-girlfriend before they are torn to shreds. Even though the theater kids and Brian never mixed before this day, they band together to make it through the school and get the girls.


Hope you enjoy these zombie picks as much as I did!




Valentine’s Day Is for Zombies

If you are familiar with my blog at all, you know I have a slight obsession with the undead. Zombies just totally float my boat.

Which is why I’m so EXCITED about this February! Rather than shoving ooey gooey romance down our throats, oddballs like myself and my husband get to choose something different–zombies!

The movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes out this Friday February 5th. Then, The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday February 14th. Honestly, can you think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day than to see if that idiot kid calling for his mom gets the group ripped to shreds? I certainly can’t.


This resurgence of zombie power in February has led me to pull out the YA zombie program that I did at my primary library branch this past Halloween.

Let’s start by saying it was pretty killer–HA! Couldn’t help myself.

This particular library branch has had a great problem with getting teens to it, despite the fact that one of the local high schools is just half a mile away (barely 15 minutes walking). One of the issues is that the branch doesn’t really do teen programming–this program was in October while the only other one that year was in April. Also, the branch is very popular with seniors due to several retirement homes in the area and a seniors rec center just two doors down the street. Teens tend to consider it the “old people library.”


zombie tshirtsPicking a very high-interest program (zombies) and making it as interactive and different as possible, I created Teen Zombie Night. One really different arrangement was in the promotion itself. I was able to get a promo set-up a few days before the event at the high school library and recruited one of the students to wear a “zombie-fied” t-shirt while I wore one myself.

tzn8Talking to the teens and making the program seem like a grand endeavor really helped.
The actual night of the program as had 12 living breathing teenagers (ranging from grade 9 to grade 12, including FIVE impossible-to-get teen boys). By comparison, the last program had only 4 (only one teen boy brought by his girlfriend).


zombie maskThe set-up was relatively simple. We performed a scavenger hunt of sorts, similar to the Jurassic World Scavenger Hunt, but on a much smaller scale. Rather than a dinosaur, teens had to complete the scavenger hunt while not having their flag taken by their not-so-friendly neighborhood zombie librarian. The winning team won Tim Horton’s gift cards for each team member.


There was also an obstacle course with the person who completed everything in the fastest time got a gift card for Tim Horton’s. Several of the challenges were physical (literally jumping through hoops) while others were “survival” in nature (create then fire a pom-pom launcher at a zombie target).

Our last activity was a zombie makeup tutorial where I performed two styles of zombie makeup on two volunteers. The teens could then choose to do zombie skin or the shadowed ghoul. The zombie skin was WAY more popular with only one girl doing shadowed contours on her face to look ghoulish.


We finished with zombie food (rice treat brains, blood splatter sugar cookies, and relabeled soda like “spinal fluid” for Sprite) and watching YouTube videos about The Walking Dead.

Overall, would I do it again? In a friggin heartbeat. It was an amazing night and really helped to earn the respect of the teens–showing them that the “old people library” could offer plenty of fun programs just for them.