Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens by Julie Mata

kate walden directs series: book one, night of the zombie chickens

Night of the Zombie Chickens is supposed to be Kate Walden’s breakout film. But her supporting actresses-her mother’s prize organic hens-are high maintenance, to say the least. Thank goodness Kate’s best friend Alyssa is the star. She’s great at screaming and even better at killing zombies in creative ways.

But when Alyssa turns into a real-life soulless zombie and ditches Kate for the most popular girl in seventh grade, Kate suddenly finds herself both friendless and starless. Now, thanks to Alyssa’s new crowd, Kate is the butt of every joke at school and consigned to the loser table at lunch.

If movies have taught Kate anything, it’s that the good guy can always win-with the right script. And her fellow social outcasts may be the key to her own happy ending. Kate hatches the perfect revenge plot against her former best friend, but even though her screenplay is foolproof, Kate soon realizes that nothing-in filmmaking or in life-ever goes exactly as planned. Especially when there are diabolical hens out to get you.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. The description of the book used here was taken from Goodreads.

NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIE CHICKENS was fun and silly, and I loved the growth that Kate went through in the process of losing her best friend and learning that the the “loser table” kids can actually be pretty cool. I definitely didn’t appreciate the mean girl figure Kate was in the beginning of the story, but I really enjoyed how relatable she was, especially towards the end and middle of the book. I think that middle-grade girls will have a great time hearing about Kate’s amusing endeavors and the at times heartbreaking struggles she goes through.

There’s also a lot of themes that will be interesting to the target age group for NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES CHICKENS such as school drama, movie making, chickens and family troubles. I thought there was a great mix in here of experiences and dialogue explaining why Kate is the way she is. The world-building was colorful and imaginative and Kate’s fear was understandable. The major issue with this story for me was how Kate was treated by mean girls, so she decided to do mean things back. I realize it happens, but I did feel that the lessons or morals or even just the idea of being the bigger person could’ve come through here. While I do realize Kate is 12, I had hoped that she would come through sooner.

Overall, I liked this fun but bittersweet story. I wish there could’ve been more fleshing out of the supporting characters, but I enjoyed the growth of Kate and the things she comes to terms with. I think this will be great for middle grade girls and all in all, is a very gentle read. 3 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 288


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