When the apocalypse strikes, nine-year-old Letitia Johnson gathers her five-year-old sister and her sister's classmates and hides them all in a school bathroom. Five days later, after hunger finally drives the small group out of hiding, Letitia finds herself in an evacuated Bronx, desperately improvising a strategy for survival.
Distrustful of the small groups of heavily-armed adults that remained behind, Letitia is forced into a sudden, awkward, and clumsy adulthood as she tries to keep twelve kindergarteners together and alive, learning and teaching the new skills they need as she goes. Letitia's toolkit for this adulthood is sparse: vague and contradictory statements from a series of foster parents, poorly understood religious lessons from televangelists, and survival skills gleaned from television shows. When Letitia finally turns to one group of adults for help, she finds that they aren't even doing as well as she is.
Reminiscent of "The Walking Dead" and "Lord of the Flies," this is a horror novel for adults.
|Publisher:||Mott Haven Books|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
He has since resumed his engineering career, but writes novels to help dull the pain.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really liked this book. Enjoyed it from a child's perspective. Great book
I have been a horror fan for decades, and this is one of the best in the genre. The premise is that a young girl takes responsibility for a group of kindergarten students when the zombie apocalypse strikes while they are at school. When I bought the book, I figured that it would be a good B-grade read. I was wrong. It was a strong A-grade read with a believable plot and a protagonist who flourished under the demands of caring and providing for her young charges. My only complaint is that the last page left me hungry for more, and there isn't more, yet. I eagerly await the sequel.
A bioweapon is released on the east coast. Chaos breaks loose outside PS43 (Public School #43) in the Bronx. Fortunately, nine-year-old Letitia Johnson finds Jahayra, her little sister, but there are other frightened kindergarteners who also need help. Not quite what she has in mind, Letitia takes the lead by not only training the five year olds to use garden stakes to kill the zombies, but also encouraging them to be brave like the engine in The Little Engine That Could -- the book she eventually reads nightly to them. Once the troupe scours the area stores for food and supplies, Letitia leads them to the iconic hospital on North Brother Island for shelter. An emergency situation forces Letitia and the others to seek help from a handful of adult survivors on another island. While the two groups join forces to fight against looters and zombies, it is only a matter of time who will actually survive. Kevin Wayne Williams' debut book is laced with paradox. Much of Williams' third person narrative reflects the simple mindset of children amid horrendous circumstances. Good examples are how they think in terms of playing games during target practice as they are learning how to use various weapons, and how they expect routines, like nightly prayers and bedtime stories. Although they are surrounded by devastation, the children still anticipate that somewhere out there in the world, there is a normalcy. Williams also uses paradox to keep his dystopian plot moving and balanced with dark comedy, such as Letitia's comment when she finds Flintstone chewable vitamins for the kids -- "Maybe they would all die from zombie bites, but not because they didn’t eat their vitamins." And while Williams' storyline appears to be all doom and gloom, he includes additional irony, between the children's and adult's relationship, such as when Letitia questions the efficacy of Catalina, one of the adults, praying to God when more and more people are dying, and Letitia emphatically stating her reasons why she is dead against the idea of using one of the hospital rooms for food storage – "Because people that steal stuff shoot the people that get in the way. We stay here and the stuff stays over there, nobody shoots us. If we live over there, people shoot us. If we bring the stuff here, people shoot us. So, we stay here, and the stuff stays there." I anticipated something more on the lines of Lord of the Flies with a demented Stephen King feel when I considered reading Williams' debut novel. Undoubtedly, Williams' plot is filled with everything gory. But then there is this amazing group of children whose tight bond is their only means of survival. Readers are not the only ones who will be dumbfounded by this unsuspected twist within a dystopian setting. Quite often the adults in Williams' story do a double take when they encounter the survival techniques of the little motley crew. I highly recommend this unique and riveting read. Originally posted on Underground Reviews Anita Lock, Book Reviewer