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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A Small Zombie Problem by K. G. Campbell

Book 46/125

A Small Zombie Problem
Zombie Problems, Book 1
June 4, 2019
240 pages • Hardcover
978-0553539554 • $16.99

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Book description:
In his fiction debut--and the start of a new series--celebrated illustrator K.G. Campbell brings a touch of Tim Burton to this singularly strange and wonderful story about a lonely boy whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when a zombie follows him home.

August DuPont has spent his whole life inside a dilapidated house with his aunt Hydrangea. His lonely existence ends abruptly with the arrival of an invitation to meet an aunt--and cousins--he didn't even know existed. When Aunt Orchid suggests that August attend school with his cousins, it's a dream come true. But August has scarcely begun to celebrate his reversal of fortune when he is confronted by a small problem on his way home. So begins an adventure filled with a wild child, a zombie, a fabled white alligator, and an unimaginable family secret.

An illustration by K. G. Campbell from the book.
Today, I'm excited to be taking part in the blog tour for K. G. Campbell's A Small Zombie Problem. Come back tomorrow for my blog tour stop for The Haunting of Henry Davis by Kathryn Siebel.

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.

An illustration by K. G. Campbell from the book.
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.

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