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

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Kate-Walden-DirectsAspiring filmmaker Kate Walden finds herself at the bottom of the 7th grade pecking order when her best friend, and leading lady, ditches her for the most popular girl in the class.

Debut author Mata, has written a somewhat generic tale of social drama, which is much enlivened with the sub-plot of Kate’s endeavors to finish her movie, Night of the Zombie Chickens, and with the integration of cinematic, undead and gallinaceous metaphors into the social situation.

Kate’s misery at being on the social outs is painfully well captured, though the resolution seems too quick, trite and overly complicated, and she actually gets away without being completely honest. Her voice is warm, sparky, and humorous even if, at times, her reflections on life seem somewhat too mature for a 12 year-old (“what is it about fame and its feeble cousin, popularity, that makes normal people turn into mindless zombies?”); the other characters, however, are two-dimensional players straight from central casting.

Nonetheless, tweens looking for an easy read that reflects at least some of their experiences, may enjoy this, and may even learn a little about film noir.

It looks like this is the first book in a series – I hope subsequent ones will use the film side of Kate as more than just a fund of metaphors for another commonplace social drama.

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