Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead

by Rebecca L Johnson (Author)

Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead

Are zombies real? As far as we know, dead people do not come back to life and start walking around, looking for trouble. But there are things that can take over the bodies and brains of innocent creatures, turning them into senseless slaves. Meet nature's zombie makers--including a fly-enslaving fungus, a suicide worm, and a cockroach-taming wasp--and their victims.


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School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 5-8--Ratchet up your ick-factor and practice your eeyuw's because Johnson's researched text will reveal enough details to cause squeamish (or highly imaginative) readers to quail. Hairworms that cause crickets to commit suicide; jewel wasps that turn cockroaches into walking pantries for their larvae; and a fungus that drives its ant host to find the perfect launch for its sporing body are just a few of the "zombie-makers" Johnson introduces. The readable text is based on telephone calls and emails with scientists in the field as well as the published articles listed in the bibliography. The author is careful to include a "Science Behind the Story" explanation for each of the featured parasites, quoting the research scientist whenever possible. Color photos reinforce the ickiness, as do splotches of red, green, and black creeping across the pages like patches of mold. Readers needing a more personal jolt may prefer Nicola Davies's more gentle (but still nicely gross) What's Eating You?: Parasites-The Inside Story (Candlewick, 2007) or Brian Ward's more prosaic Microscopic Life in the Home (Smart Apple Media, 2004). Scientific in its approach, this slender book gives children a look at scientific research in real time, and also shows how little we truly know in a less-than-lovely field.--Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Ratchet up your ick-factor and practice your eeyuw's because Johnson's researched text will reveal enough details to cause squeamish (or highly imaginative) readers to quail. Hairworms that cause crickets to commit suicide; jewel wasps that turn cockroaches into walking pantries for their larvae; and a fungus that drives its ant host to find the perfect launch for its sporing body are just a few of the 'zombie-makers' Johnson introduces. The readable text is based on telephone calls and emails with scientists in the field as well as the published articles listed in the bibliography. The author is careful to include a 'Science Behind the Story' explanation for each of the featured parasites, quoting the research scientist whenever possible. Color photos reinforce the ickiness, as do splotches of red, green, and black creeping across the pages like patches of mold. Readers needing a more personal jolt may prefer Nicola Davies's more gentle (but still nicely gross) What's Eating You?: Parasite—The Inside Story (Candlewick, 2007) or Brian Ward's more prosaic Microscopic Life in the Home (Smart Apple Media, 2004). Scientific in its approach, this slender book gives children a look at scientific research in real time, and also shows how little we truly know in a less-than-lovely field." —starred, School Library Journal

—Journal
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780761386339
Lexile Measure
800L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publication date
August 20, 2012
Series
Junior Library Guild Selection
BISAC categories
JNF051150 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Zoology
JNF016000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Curiosities & Wonders
Library of Congress categories
Parasites
Host-parasite relationships
Society of Midland Authors Award
Finalist 2013 - 2013

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