Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sunscreen and Zombies

One thing I never saw coming was a fascination with zombie lit. Seriously. And then came Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. With a bad attitude and disdain I condescended to give it a read, just to see how bad it was, and I got schooled by zombies. Meiji Japan? Elizabeth Bennet and the ninjas? Poor Charlotte Lucas! I. Loved. It.

Then came Monster Island and those rocking, school uniformed, Uzi toting,  Somali teen-girl band of warriors and an omniscient zombie named Gary in post-infection Manhattan. I needed more zombies.

World War Z was the perfect follow up. As one of the most popular books in our library this year I had to wait (impatiently) for my turn. An oral history of the global zombie wars, complete with data, statistics and primary source documentation, it was worth the wait.

My zombie orgy culminated with Zombieland, a video of the U.S. after the zombie plague. From all my zombie reading I felt pretty confident of my zombie survival skills, the most important being disposal of the head, so it was nice to be able to add a few tricks to my skill set.
  • The double tap - not one, but two shots to the head, to be sure the brain is really destroyed.
  • Wear a seatbelt - an accident in a get-away car can kill you, too. Buckle up for safety. And always check the backseat!
  • Cardio - being able to out run zombies can save your life.
So what does this have to do with sunscreen? I can't think of a better genre for summer reading than zombie lit. Perfect for the beach, funny, horrific, ghoulish, page-turning fun. Great for reluctant readers, great for smartie-pants (like me) who think they  know everything and that they can't be surprised anymore. I now have collegial bonds with fellow zombie afficionados - students with whom I might otherwise never have had the opportunity to make a connection.

That is why I featured zombie lit on our CCHS Learning Commons homepage.

Summer reading offers students a rare opportunity to read for pleasure, for fun, for joy! Our new paperless list, CCHS Summer Reading 2010, features books that are engaging and offer different perspectives and global themes.

Kids are busy during the summer, with Juniors preparing for college interviews. All the books on our list would provide a lively discussion to that classic interview question "what are you reading?".  If I were an interviewer you can be sure I'd remember the applicant who could speak with intelligence and passion about zombie lit.

Students, and their librarians, need to get out of their comfort zones sometime, and try something new. It is a great gift to be surprised by a book.

When the zombie apocalypse comes, and it will, I'll be ready.

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