My Zombie Hamster (My Zombie Hamster Series #1)

My Zombie Hamster (My Zombie Hamster Series #1)

3.0 1
by Havelock McCreely
     
 

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A laugh-out-loud funny middle-grade debut with a scary twist, My Zombie Hamster will appeal to readers who like their animal stories mixed with chills. Fans of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps Most Wanted series will grab this one right up.

Matt Hunter and his buddies are looking forward to Christmas—actually, they're looking forward to receiving the latest

Overview

A laugh-out-loud funny middle-grade debut with a scary twist, My Zombie Hamster will appeal to readers who like their animal stories mixed with chills. Fans of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps Most Wanted series will grab this one right up.

Matt Hunter and his buddies are looking forward to Christmas—actually, they're looking forward to receiving the latest sword-and-fantasy video game. But Matt's parents have other thoughts—they give him a fluffy little mammal, a hamster called Snuffles, for the holiday. And his grandmother makes it worse by giving him a hamster cage and wheel. But the hamster isn't all that cute—at least not after part of its cheek and belly fall right off—without bothering it a bit! And why is it staring at Matt with black beady eyes and a lean and hungry look?

Say hello to Anti-Snuffles, the zombie hamster! Or better yet, run!

This series combines middle-school readers' passions: humor, animals, and scary stories, into one unbeatable package.

Releases simultaneously in electronic book format (ISBN 9781606844922).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/05/2014
The zombie apocalypse has arrived, and now towns are protected by Undead Neutralization Units, which are essentially bug zappers for zombies (aka “deadbeats”), and Zombie Squads, who patrol for the undead inside town walls. Despite this, life is otherwise pretty normal for video game–obsessed Matt and his three best friends in this entertaining, journal-style adventure that takes off after Matt’s birthday hamster, Snuffles, turns into a zombie and escapes. Other pets soon disappear, and Matt and his friends form a group to track them down, as well as the newly dubbed “Anti-Snuffles.” McCreely creates a world where zombies are just another part of life—to Matt, they’re less annoying than his mother taking a job as a substitute teacher for his class. The deadbeat encounters can be frightening, but humor is at the forefront (“Were we about to be attacked by a horde of deadbeat squirrels? What an embarrassing way to go”), and McCreely lays groundwork for a possible evolution of the human-deadbeat relationship. Think Shaun of the Dead for a middle-school crowd. Ages 8–12. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-28
For Christmas, Matt wants a Runesword that will allow him to ditch his control pad and take his level-28 cleric into whole new realms of awesomeness. He gets Snuffles the hamster—who pretty soon turns into Anti-Snuffles, the zombie hamster, who promptly escapes.This is a problem, as in Matt’s America, towns are surrounded by high walls and patrolled by Zombie Squads. (The back story behind the zombie plague, which evidently began only recently, is elided.) A zombie hamster inside the walls puts Matt’s family in legal jeopardy, so Matt and his pals embark on a stop-and-go search for Anti-Snuffles before he can turn all Edenvale’s pets into deadbeats. McCreely’s execution of his premise is scattershot. Matt relates his tale in an unconvincing, diarylike structure, but there’s no sense that Matt is actually keeping a diary, making it a conceit without any real justification. Perhaps coincidentally, his voice is very similar to another, famous, diary-keeping middle schooler, and Matt seems to suffer equally from a sort of narrative ADHD. Bouts of anxiety over Anti-Snuffles’ depredations alternate with games of Runespell and lamentations at the appointment of his mother as a new long-term substitute teacher. The plot twist that has the best promise of engaging readers emotionally occurs over halfway through the book; those who make it that far may be interested enough to wait for the sequel, but that’s not a sure thing.This zombie hamster doesn’t have much bite. (Funny horror. 8-12)
Children's Literature - Jeanna Potts
The book is written as a diary from the viewpoint of a child, Matt Hunter, who tells the story of his zombie hamster through hourly and daily entries. For Christmas, Matt receives a pet hamster instead of the new gaming machine he wanted. He does not want the hamster, hwo he names Snuffles, and tries to ignore him. Later he discovers Snuffles has died. He waits for the Zombie Police to come for the dead hamster, but they do not appear. In Edenvale, everyone and every pet has a life chip. When someone dies, the life chip ceases working, and the Zombie Police come for the body to take it outside the city walls. But no one comes for Snuffles. Matt discovers that his dad bought the hamster from a questionable area of Edenvale, and Snuffles does not have the required chip. Matt needs to hide Snuffles’ death to protect his dad from the anger of his mother and the Zombie Police, but Snuffles turns into an evil zombie. Snuffles begins to cause other pets to disappear and become zombies. Matt and his friends try to find and catch Snuffles, but they have many problems and adventures achieving this goal. When Matt’s friend Charlie is infected by the zombies Matt learns that zombie Charlie is not an evil person. The high point of the story comes on the day of the annual festival pet show. Charlie persuades the zombie animals to follow her and leads them through the gate and outside the city. Because of Charlie’s heroism, the city people decide Charlie can remain in the city and that all zombies are not evil. The story is well-written with serious moments interspersed with humorous happenings. The children and adults are realistically portrayed, and the diary-like story format enhances the story. Reviewer: Jeanna Potts; Ages 9 to 12.
School Library Journal
05/01/2014
Gr 3–6—Life isn't so bad after the zombie apocalypse. Walls surround the town of Edenvale, and Zombie Zappers lure the walking dead to their final ends. The zombies are dangerous but under control, which frees Matt Hunter to worry about more pressing matters, like what he's going to get for Christmas. Matt hopes for a controller for his favorite video game, but his parents disappoint him by giving him a hamster instead. Snuffles doesn't do much except eat and sleep, until he dies and rises up as a zombie. Anti-Snuffles—as Matt now refers to his undead pet—soon escapes captivity. Now Matt and his friends must hunt down malevolent rodent before it turns Edenvale's pets into an army of the dead. McCreely maintains a humorous tone throughout, keeping the story from ever getting too dark. The irreverent narrator, short chapters, and brisk pace will appeal to reluctant readers. My Zombie Hamster contains some implied violence, but nothing too graphic, making it the perfect pick for readers who are interested in zombie action, but who are not ready for gore. The satisfying conclusion leaves just enough unresolved to hint at future adventures involving Matt and his ghoulish rodent.—Tony Hirt, Hennepin County Library, MN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606844915
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/08/2014
Series:
My Zombie Hamster Series , #1
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Havelock McCreely inspired H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds and was the first person on the moon, no matter what anyone says. But in spite of his interplanetary adventures, he has never owned a zombie hamster or battled an orc. You may reach him on Twitter @H_McCreely. The author lives in New York, NY.

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My Zombie Hamster 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Zombie hamsters are creepy!