Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead (Exceptional Science Titles for Intermediate Grades) (Junior Library Guild Selection (Millbrook Press))
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Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead (Exceptional Science Titles for Intermediate Grades) (Junior Library Guild Selection (Millbrook Press))

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Examines creatures that can take over the bodies and brains of other creatures and turns them into slaves, from a fly-enslaving fungus to a cockroach-taming wasp.
Library, 48 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by 21st Century (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 397)
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karen
oh my god.

zombies are real, and they are mostly insects. i am not leaving my house, ever. although every summer, there are these tiny little beetles that come and live in my apartment, and i am always really nice to them and set them free out the window, and if they are zombies, i hope to all the higher powers that they will see me as a servant and not a potential zombie-host.

this book is amazing. it is all about the ways in which parasites TAKE OVER the brains of their hosts. which is totally r...more
Greg
I can see giving this to the right kid and scaring the shit bejesus out of him so badly that he'll be in therapy until he's forty just to be able to go into nature ever again. There are funguses and viruses and creepy worms out there just waiting to parasite it up inside of a hosts body and some of these things can even hijack control of the brain and get the host to do some destructive and very out of character actions.

We don't necessarily think of a cricket as being really high on the scale o...more
Lily
Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven.

I sometimes joke that I am a 6 year old boy living in an adult woman's body. And it could not be more true than when I started reading this book.

Absolutely loved it! It was icky. It was gross. It was graphic and fascinating. And it had A TON of pictures!

At about 60 pages long, this book gives you an insight into the weird and really fascinating world of real life zombie makers. From fungi, to insects, to parasitic worms, this book will leave your ve...more
Leigh Collazo

More reviews at Mrs. ReaderPants.

REVIEW: Interesting with plenty of the "ewww" factor, Zombie Makers will be a hit with reluctant readers, science geeks, or those who just love to be grossed out. Each chapter includes pages packed with full-color close-ups (using photomicroscopy) of insects, fungi, worms, viruses, and other parasites that prey on their unfortunate hosts.

For me, the chapter on parasitic worms (chapter 2) is particularly disgusting and make me really want to avoid drinking any wa...more
Susan
Zombies aren't real...as far as we know...but there are things in nature that can take over innocent creatures' bodies & brians. This non-fiction book looks at these "zombie making" parasites in excellent depth. In each chapter, the author shares about several different species, ending with the "science behind the story". Includes lots of photographs and detailed biblography, websites, and book lists for further reading.
Brenda Kahn
Yikes! I'm glad I didn't read this book after lunch, or I might have lost it. As it was, I pretty much lost my appetite for lunch and have crossed several travel destinations off my list and am feeling leery about water...

Eye-catching from it's title through its design and containing lots of full-color photographs of the parasites and their host victims in action, this one will be irresistible.
Chris
Oh my goodness. Soooo creeeeeepy! Do not read this book if you are slightly squeamish. Do read this book if you want to be weirded out by the unfathomable variety of life on our planet that we are only beginning to comprehend.
paula
REALLY well-researched, REALLY ooky stories. Mostly invertebrates, but the guinea worm in the human leg is a picture I won't be able to forget any time soon. Will be read to pieces.
Kam-Yung Soh
For children (and child-like adults) who don't mind seeing 'yucky' images of parasites turning their hosts into zombies to reproduce, this is a good book for a quick read.

The book covers a few types of parasites, from viruses, fungus to worms, with descriptions of what they do to the hosts in order to reproduce. The science behind the parasites' behavior is also given.

Probably the most 'yuck' inducing parasites are those that can affect us: the guinea worm and rabies. Fortunately, the guinea wor...more
Sharon Tyler
Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead Rebecca L. Johnson is a non fiction book for children, around age 9 and older) scheduled for release on October 1 2012. The book is all about some of the fungi and parasites that can turn their hosts into zombies, not the zombie people that one might think about from popular culture, but still following the bidding of the creatures invading their body. Nature's zombie makers cannot raise creatures from the dead, but instead use their hosts for food...more
Joan
Sep 09, 2013 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: reluctant readers, entomologist wannabes
I was tempted to mark this book as being part of the vegetarian bookshelf. Certainly would incline one in that direction! ICK!!!!! This book is extremely, deliciously (hmm, bad choice of words there) gross. I managed to read the entire book without once looking at the photos directly. I'm afraid of bugs and boy this book doesn't help that phobia any! Although you can argue that you could feel sorry for the other bugs that tend to be the victims on the zombie makers. I can't make the argument, be...more
Becky B
Feb 06, 2013 Becky B rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Reluctant readers, Science teachers
If you are having trouble keeping the attention of students during science class or having trouble motivating a reluctant reader, you might want to try out this informative picture book. It is sure to have kids (and adults) covering their faces with their hands but too curious not to peak through their fingers. Johnson gives short 1-2 page descriptions of these fungi, nematodes, protozoans, insects, and viruses that take over the brains and bodies of other living creatures. Not only will this ke...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Reviewed from an ARC. Rebecca Johnson follows on her award winning Journey into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures (Millbrook, 2011) with an even more compelling non-fiction book, sure to fly off the shelves: Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead. The five chapters are organized by transmission vectors and begin with zombie-traits victims evince. Fact boxes for each ‘Zombie Maker’, electrifyingly gruesome photographs, and frequent ‘Science Behind the Story’ headings break up the...more
Marsha
Zombies are the new vampires. While bloodsuckers still loom large in the public mind, other people are turning their interests towards the shambling dead.

But human zombies don't exist any more than human vampires do. However, they exist in nature and this slim book is devoted to outlining, in glorious color, the horror, the horror that lies closer than you think.

The photographs are wonderfully explicit, the prose easy to digest and the science is clear cut without being too overwhelming. (Yes,...more
Audrey
What first drew me to Zombie Makers was the promise of reading about one of my favorite subjects: parasites! I was also really excited at the prospect of reading something that was obviously going to be creepy and disgusting. What made the book even better, though, were the gorgeous color illustrations that appear on each page. Even though I was reading a digital galley, I saw some sample pages of the finished book at ALA, and this thing is going to look really slick as a physical book.

Johnson’s...more
Betsy
There's this podcast I like to listen to called RadioLab, which is essentially just a show for people who like kooky science but are still a little foggy on what exactly Einstein's Theory of Relativity actually means or why the sun is hot. Science for the English majors, let's call it. Often the show will come up with really original stories, like the guy who purposefully gave himself tapeworms to cure his asthma (it worked). That story came from a show about parasites and it was accompanied by...more
Erika
I just saw this book on the shelf while we were walking around the library and I was intrigued. True stories of nature's undead? I want to know more! I love animals and bugs, and this book goes in depth telling about parasites that infect the body of other living things--nothing new, but these are animals/fungus/viruses that infect other animals and actually take over their brains. It was fascinating and I was glad I picked it up!
Jim Erekson
I remember hearing about these kinds of parasites on NPR a couple of years ago, ones that infect mice so they don't flee from predators and thus get eaten easily(the parasite then spreads through the predator). T. Gondii is featured on p. 39 of this book.

It's a great topic for a kids' book, because it's powerful and interesting science, but unlikely to be textbook science material and it's not one of the perennial topics like dinosaurs. Using the current mania for zombies was a good move by Rebe...more
M.
Creepy but true and interesting accounts of viruses, fungi, and parasites which invade host bodies (usually insects) and change the hosts’ normal behavior to something which benefits the invaders’ and/or their offspring.
Good pictures, good sidebars with short but very adequate comments.
4th grade and up.

Samantha
A look at insects and animals who display zombie-like traits after becoming infected by different parasites and fungi. Each chapter begins with a zombie trait and then the creature is introduced that suffers from the trait and then the science behind the activity is explained. Great photographs lets readers get a close up view of parasites and the damage they cause to the creatures they infect.

Hands down the writing style and tone is tops in this book. The author sets a creepy tone and maintains...more
Joanne Zienty
Wow, all those imaginary zombies stumbling around on TV, in film and in print can't compete with these real-life critters. The author rides the current zombie wave, but brings a lot to the party - apologies for that mixed metaphor. From the witty, well-written text to the in-your-face photography, this book will enlighten and entertain students in the intermediate and middle school grades.
Ruth Ann
Creepy, gross, and icky - this book is filled with information and photos from scientific research!

Which would you like to know more about: Body-Snatcher Invasion or Control Freaks?
Annie Oosterwyk
The world is a savage place. This book details the life cycles of various parasites, viruses and fungi as they take over their host and create the conditions they need to reproduce. Great things about this book are: photographs (these are fantastic and all taken by different photographers), the zombie premise (a current draw for kids today), layout (consistent throughout, with the story and then a section called "the science behind the story" which shares how scientists worked in the field to un...more
Gigi
Talk about gross! There are many interesting facts about our animal world that I just would rather not know. Some were sections so disgusting I had to stop reading them. Kids, especially boys, will love this creepy book about animals that inhabit other animals.
Reneesanow
This is a great book. Fabulous photographs and clear descriptions of the science behind the idea. Kids will love nonfiction with this book.
Jessica
Appeal Characteristics: zombie bugs, visualizations, layout, information structure

OMG. I threw up a bit in my mouth. I could barely finish this book, and I had to flip really fast through some of the pictures. UGH, this book was sooo out of my element, I was completely grossed out. In saying this...kids will gobble this stuff up. Especially since they might not be allowed to watch a lot of zombie shows/movies this book is great for connecting those zombie shows with what happens in nature. Stil...more
Nathan
I love children's non-fiction, and frequently some come through that I cannot keep myself from reading as I catalog them for the library. This book is a perfect case in point. I picked it up thinking that the natural world was being exploited by writers dying to latch onto a pop culture fad. Now that I have read it, I know that is not really the case. Some organisms have evolved some incredibly elaborate adaptations as part of a parasite/host relationship.

Such a fascinating subject, all wonderfu...more
Samantha
Gross and awesome.
Joan
Informative. Colorful. Gross.
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