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Zombie Baseball Beatdown

Zombie Baseball Beatdown

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Sports: Baseball/Softball; Adventure: Science Fiction; Personal Development: Diversity/Friendship/Sports/Teamwork/Competition

Grade: 3-7


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The zombie apocalypse begins on the day Rabi, Miguel, and Joe are practicing baseball near their town’s local meatpacking plant and nearly get knocked out by a really big stink. Little do they know the plant’s toxic cattle feed is turning cows into flesh-craving monsters! The boys decide to launch a stealth investigation into the plant’s dangerous practices, unknowingly discovering a greedy corporation’s plot to look the other way as tainted meat is sold to thousands all over the country. With no grownups left they can trust, Rabi and his friends will have to grab their bats to protect themselves (and a few of their enemies) if they want to stay alive…and maybe even save the world.




“Printz-winning Bacigalupi writing a middle-grade zombie novel? Yes, it really happened, and yes, it’s pretty darn good….Simultaneously smart, funny, and icky, this book asks a tough question: Is it worth looking the other way in order to save yourself?”– Booklist


“[Introduces] reluctant readers to activism through literature…. a dark comedy with a bit of heart.”– The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


“A high-energy, high-humor look at the zombie apocalypse….a signal alert to young teens to think about what they eat….sure to be appreciated by middle school zombie cognoscenti.”– Kirkus Reviews


“Batting comes in handy beating down zombies….Will appeal to reluctant readers.”– Library Media Connection


“Defies the expectations of the comedy-horror genre, turning this zombie novel into an effective bit of social commentary while staying true to the story’s grisly and goofy roots….Casual readers will have a blast, and those who look deeper will learn something, too.”– Publishers Weekly


“It’s a testament to the author’s skill that [the characters] express values of courage, friendship, and integrity as naturally as they toss off hilarious observations….[A] fast-paced home run.”– School Library Journal



Midnight Oil

As a special Halloween treat, we have a short story from Xeric-Award winning graphic novelist Neil Kleid. The perfect fit for the occasion. Enjoy!

Patrick Checker lost his mind sometime between final count and lights out.

Frank Day, horror novelist and convicted Communist sympathizer, wouldn’t have minded except that he was sitting across from Checker at the time. Fingers followed Checker’s brain, then his teeth. They’d been debating the structures of stories and Checker, a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, adamant that solid characters made up for formulaic plots, had been refuting the argument Day had constructed over the last hour when the right half of the screenwriter’s forehead slid past his eyes and into his nasal cavity, choking him as skull, brain, and hair joined it inside his throat.

 Day, a large man carrying the air of a history professor with deep-set eyes, prone to favor herringbone jackets and a Vandyke beard, moved to take Checker’s hands but had trouble maintaining a grip when the fingers came off joint by joint. He shouted for the guards as Checker pitched forward into a pool of his own dissolving muscle, blood, and bone. The body shuffled, stumbled, and fell to the ground with a sickening splash that sounded like overripe melons being pulped with a single, gleeful hammer.

Continue reading “Midnight Oil”