Zombie Mommy
Zombie Mommy
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Annotation: Home from their latest Delaware crime-stopping adventures, Lily Gefelty and her friends Katie, Jasper, and Drgnan Pghlik face killer tarantulas and teenaged vampires when they try to rescue Lily's mother, who has been possessed by a menacing zombie that wants to take over the world.
Catalog Number: #5266534
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Illustrator: Cyrus, Kurt,
Pages: 220 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-416-98641-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-416-98641-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010047668
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Subject Heading:
Zombies. Fiction.
Language: English
Horn Book
This fifth book in Anderson's good-humored satirical series gives new life to the paranormal horror novel. Lily, Jasper Dash, Katie, and Drgnan Pghlik must free Lily's mom from the clutches of a ghost--and themselves from the scorn of a snotty it-girl. Luckily, they kill two birds with one stone. Black-and-white illustrations aptly combine the hair-raising with the tongue-in-cheek.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest in Anderson's madcap pastiche series takes on the undead of upstate New York. By "undead," of course, we mean vampires, zombies and ghosts, despite Lily Gefelty's father's insistence that undead really means "[p]eople who haven't died." When Lily's mother vanishes in Todburg, N.Y. ("Undead Capital of the U.S."!)—only to return from her trip clearly possessed—Lily and her friends pop off to the rescue. Good thing Jasper Dash (Boy Technonaut and hero of an adventure-book series) has a Robo-Sedan to take them to Todburg. Surely they will succeed at rescuing Mrs. Gefelty, for it's not just Lily and Jasper on this rescue mission, but Katie Mulligan (heroine of the Horror Hollow series) and Brother Drgnan Pghlik (not the hero of any series, although he is awfully swell). Unfortunately, they're also joined by Katie's snobby cousin Madigan Westlake-Duvet, the star of the Snott Academy series about bratty, beautiful prep-school kids. The layers of nonsense grow ever thicker and funnier as our heroes encounter a haunted theater that advertises "comical skits...Ha! Ha! Ha!", a ghost actress from French-occupied Russia (or was that Russia-occupied France?) and a giant Adirondack tarantula. Ridiculous in all the best ways. (Fantasy. 9-12)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book (4/1/12)
Kirkus Reviews
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
Word Count: 29,785
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 147229 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:8.0 / quiz:Q54390
Lexile: 710L


Sometimes things are dead, but still move.

I mean the leaves, of course. The leaves of autumn.

They crawled across the basketball court, scuttling sideways with the wind, tripping and pouncing. It was late fall. Almost everything was dead or hiding. The frogs were dead, the fish were dead, the bugs were dead, and the birds had escaped to Boca Raton.

The sky was not dead, however. It was blue and active. Clouds rolled across it. Trees in vacant lots scratched at it. And in the middle of all the creeping leaves and the nude, shivering branches of dead trees, Lily Gefelty and her mother sat in a car, waiting for Lily’s friends to arrive so the kids could play basketball.

Lily and her mother were having a difficult conversation.

“We need to talk,” said Mrs. Gefelty.

“Okay,” said Lily. “But everyone else is going to be here in a minute.”

“That’s fine. But we need to have a, you know, heart-to-heart.”

“About what?”

“About books.”

A book discussion doesn’t sound like it should be a difficult conversation, but it was for the Gefeltys. This was because Lily had actually been in several books recently. For instance, this one.

Lily had gone through most of her life without appearing in any books at all. Most of us never do. Though some of her friends had appeared in books, Lily had always liked the fact that she had stayed behind the scenes, because she was a pretty shy person and she didn’t think her life was very interesting. Then she began to show up in this series, Pals in Peril. People from the publishing company would call and get details of her adventures, then they would write them up and publish them. It was a little strange for her at first, but she got used to it.

Her mother was still getting used to it.

Mrs. Gefelty sat there in the driver’s seat, looking anxious. She tapped on the steering wheel and looked into the rearview mirror at the backseat. It was filled with library books. Mrs. Gefelty stared at them as if they were poisonous snakes that might strike at any time.

“Lily,” she said, “have you read the books you’re assigned for school?”

Lily looked at her mother, shocked. She always did all her homework. “Mom!” she said. “Of course!”

“Have you noticed anything about books written for people your age?” Her mother clearly was waiting for a particular answer.

Lily shrugged. “It’s a bad idea to have a horse?” she guessed.

“It is a bad idea,” said her mother, “to have a mother.” She pressed her forehead with the heel of her hand and sighed. “In every single book your English teacher assigns you, the mother dies or disappears.” She reached back and began shuffling through the stack of books that slid on the backseat cushions. “In this one, the mother contracts cholera. In this one, she dies of cancer. In this one, she’s killed in a rogue trolley accident. In this one, she’s eaten by a rhinoceros. In this one, she’s making stew when the pressure cooker blows up. And in this one,” Lily’s mother exclaimed, throwing a particularly heavy, dismal-looking volume down on Lily’s lap, “she goes to a dance party and catches thesmallpox. WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING?

Lily didn’t know what to say. She shrugged. Mrs. Gefelty demanded, “What do they have against mothers?”

Lily couldn’t answer that one either. Now that she thought about it, the mothers in books didn’t have such great luck with disease, electricity, the ocean, or crosswalks.

Then Lily realized what was really bugging her mom . . . and a second later, Mrs. Gefelty herself said it: “So what am I supposed to think? Now that you are showing up in books? See what I mean? Do I have to start worrying?”

“Mom, the books I’m in are different,” said Lily. “The ones you’re reading aren’t true. My stories really, actually happened to me.”

“Who knows? Maybe I’m next.” Mrs. Gefelty pressed her hands together between her knees. She was frowning. “I’ve made an appointment to have a checkup with Dr. Singh tomorrow.” She scratched the back of her head, as if she felt a sudden, unaccountable itch. “And we’ve got to get a burglar alarm in the house. And a radon gas sensor. And motion detectors.” Mrs. Gefelty snapped her fingers. “Hey, do you think the fire alarms need new batteries?” She pointed at Lily. “Chore!” she said. “Check them all. Buy batteries. Replace any old ones.” She dusted off the dashboard anxiously. “I’m going to go home and go through the medicine cabinet and throw away everything that’s past its sell-by date. You never know when vitamin D will turn weird.”

“Mom, I think you might be overreacting.” Mrs. Gefelty insisted, “Disaster is hanging over my head. We have got to do everything we can to avoid it.”

Lily’s friends were pulling up and getting out of the back doors of cars.

Lily said, “I wouldn’t worry about it, Mom.”

“I’ll try not to,” said Mrs. Gefelty, worrying. She stared into the distance.

Lily leaned over and gave her a kiss. Mrs. Gefelty jumped as if startled. “Oh,” she said, and smiled awkwardly.

As Lily walked over to greet her friends, her mother drove off to arrange protection against any unforeseen and dire circumstances. As Mrs. Gefelty’s car rounded the corner, she gave a sweet smile and waved back to her daughter.

But you’ve read this book’s title.

You know tough times are coming for Mrs. G.

So get ready. If we stick together, we might all just make it through this thing alive.

© 2011 M. T. Anderson

Excerpted from Zombie Mommy by M. T. Anderson
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

“Ridiculous in all the best ways.” —Kirkus Reviews

In the fifth installment of National Book Award winner M.T. Anderson’s Pals in Peril series, the intrepid heroes are home from their Delaware crime-stopping excitement, only to discover that Lily’s mom has become possessed by a menacing zombie who wants to take over the world! (Or, at least, the world of stage and screen.)

When Lily’s mother returns from a little vacation to Todburg—the most haunted town in America—she seems different. She can no longer speak French. She makes better pancakes. And also she no longer recognizes Lily, her own daughter. What if she was taken over…and is now something dangerous and undead?

So our intrepid heroes—Lily Gefelty, Katie Mulligan, and Jasper Dash, Boy Technonaut—blast off on another rollicking adventure, this time to the world of ghosts, ghouls, bats, tarantulas, web-footed vampires, sad-sack magicians, and ninja prep-school girls with love and fashion on their side. The night is dark and the enemies are fierce. You won’t know whether to laugh or scream!

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