Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist at Your Service

Daisy Whitney. Spencer Hill Middle Grade, $7.95 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-939392-19-0
Investigating a strange noise in the yard one night, 10-year-old Ben discovers that his cat, Percy, possesses some unusual powers. Ben, whose mild cerebral palsy is peripheral to the plot, sees Percy stand on his hind legs, tap the tag on his mysterious new collar, and summon 13 squirrels from underground—“roadkill zombies” that have come back to life after being run over by passing cars. YA author Whitney’s (When You Were Here) story plunges deeper into oddball territory when Ben visits the proprietor of a Halloween-themed store, who gives him a pamphlet on animal zombies and tells him that the squirrels “want nothing more than to feed off the energy of living animals, and then transform their behavior” so that they act like squirrels. Instead, the squirrels (and Ben’s dog, Captain Sparkles) begin acting like cats, and Ben has to find a way to banish these “cross-species zombies” before the Zombie Animal Apocalypse. Ben is a relatable protagonist with an entertaining narrative voice, but his muddled story is difficult to navigate. Ages 8–12. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 10/14/2014
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-939392-20-6
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