Great Illustrated Books

Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead

Rebecca L. Johnson

Millbrook Press, 2013
Pages : 48
Suggested Ages: 8 and up
ISBN: 978-0761386339

Disclaimer: There is unquestionably an age range for the grossness appeal…perhaps, when you have been in double digits for ten years or more already. 
Rebecca Johnson’s Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead should not be read by anyone exceeding that range. The scientific anecdotes throughout Zombie Makers capture readers’ attention like body-snatching invasions of O. unilateral is and the innocent carpenter ants. Readers are taken on a journey around the globe meeting parasitic creatures and their hosts from an innocent person in Africa plagued by the guinea worm twirled around a stick and slowly pulled from their frame to a body-snatching fungus that turns a fly literally into a zombie. Rain forests are visited where microscopic eggs belonging to Myrmeconema neotropicum laced bird droppings that transform ants into zombies to rabid raccoons slowly going insane in our own backyards. These stories are factual and can make any rational reader of nonfiction squirm out of their own skin. 

Written with engaging text and captivating photographs enhanced by a vibrant and colorful layout, Zombie Makers will spark critical thought, further inquiry, and exploration by elementary-aged kids. Through email and phone conversations with scientists, Johnson captured the passion researchers and experts have for their work and share this excitement with her young and inquisitive audience.

Reviewed by : MJI

Themes : Misconceptions. Science and Scientists. Body, Human. Animals.

If you love this book, then try:

DeCristofano, Carolyn Cinami. A Black Hole Is Not a Hole Charlesbridge, 2012.

Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon Flash Point, 2012.

Teacher Tip:

Explore other hosts and parasites using the Science360 App by the National Science Foundation. Launch an inquiry unit of nature’s undead with resources from including educational games, quizzes, lessons, and activities from Arkive, a not-for-profit organization that promotes conservation, education, and public awareness.

Critics have said

"Scientific in its approach, this slender book gives children a look at scientific research in real time"
- School Library Journal

"Disgustingly good."
- Booklist