Posted in 2013-2014 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Zombie Baseball BeatdownSummary:  While practicing for their next baseball game, thirteen-year-old friends Rabi, Miguel, and Joe discover that the nefarious activities of the Delbe, Iowa, meatpacking plant have caused cows to turn into zombies.

Little, Brown


2 thoughts on “Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paolo Bacigalupi

  1. This book took me by surprise. I went against the cliched saying and judged this book by its cover. If I was in a bookstore I would probably not pick up this book because of its title and cover, but I’m really glad I did read it. This book is not all about baseball, zombies, and the gruesomeness surrounding them. It’s also about some pretty deep stuff, like Miguel’s struggles as the son of illegal immigrants who were recently deported by the horrible owners of the Milrow Meatpacking Plant. In the end, the three main characters do end up beating down zombies while playing baseball, but I found that I didn’t mind that because the rest of the book was so good. This book is definitely in my Top 7.

  2. I was told not to judge this book by its cover and so I did not. Unfortunately I came to the same conclusion as I would have if I had judged it by its cover. I tried to remain open to the book’s good points throughout the reading and I did find a few, (or at least one.)
    People have said that they liked this book because it was not ALL about zombies and that it had other deeper themes. For example two of the three boys get picked on for not being “American.” Miguel is Mexican I think and Rabi is Indian (from India.) You see their struggles of being called illegal immigrants and their difficult life. However despite this serious theme this book was far from deep.
    I have to say that more than half the book IS about zombies. Their are a few almost deep or heartfelt moments, but they get interrupted by zombies (or Joe, their incredibly flat friend.) A few of the major zombie parts made me actually feel sick: zombie cow’s skin being peeled back and their guts sliding out onto platters, “their hooked bodies” still wiggling around. That is just gross, but also when these boys go around killing zombies they are killing actual people! Maybe I’m just being sensitive but it was pretty disturbing. If you think about it, the Newbery will be around forever, soooo in few hundred years people will be sitting reading this Newbery book thinking “Wow, those people from 2013 really liked some gruesome stuff. Zombie guts, their idea of a classic?”
    The writing style was really undeveloped like some of those short series-books. Maybe it was for younger kids but even then it does not seem like Newbery writing, (although it was funny.)
    Miguel and Rabi were pretty developed but some of the other characters were somewhat flat and unrealistic.
    Sure, maybe the author is a genius to be able to incorporate immigration, friends, and family into a zombie apocalypse book but personally I am not nominating this as the mock Newbery. I would however, recommend this book to people who like this sort of topic or who want a fun read. (Also if you are a meat lover, don’t read this because it will probably scar you for life, or at least make you want to become a vegetarian.)

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