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Zombie Baseball Beatdown

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,230 ratings  ·  327 reviews
The apocalypse begins on the day Rabi, Miguel and Joe are practicing baseball near their town's local meatpacking plant and nearly get knocked out by a really big stink. Little do they know the plant's toxic cattle feed is turning cows into flesh-craving monsters...ZOMBIES!!!

The boys decide to launch a stealth investigation into the plant's dangerous practices, unknowingl
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  1,230 ratings  ·  327 reviews

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Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Don’t let the title completely fool you. Yes, there are zombies, there is baseball, and there is in fact a zombie baseball beatdown (so cool!). Paolo Bacigalupi’s middle reader novel is a whole lot of fun, but also, he packs quite the socially-conscious message, too. It’s a book for both the reluctant kid, and the kid who wants to read something with substance.

There isn’t a ton of novels targeted for, like, 5th graders that you can make this claim for. It’s basically Fast Food Nation for a much
Jeannette Mazur
Dec 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was like Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" but for middle schoolers. I do not enjoy my zombie/baseball books to be so preachy about meat farms. I wish there was a 0 star option as it barely delivered on zombies and baseball.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, own
Zombie Baseball Beatdown, as its title implies, is about zombies being beat down with baseball bats, but it's also about the meatpacking industry, and it's also about immigration policy, and it's also about racism, and this is a middle-grade book, so way to go, Paolo Bacigalupi.

Rabindranath Chatterjee-Jones, as his name implies, is half-Indian (half-Bengali, specifically), and that was a huge draw for me, as I rarely see Indian protagonists in fiction, let alone a middle-grade book. His name doe
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j, green, zombies
Great believable story about factory farms, ICEcapades, and a diverse crew of underdogs just trying to get by.
Slightly less mindblowing than I wanted it to be, and I never really feel like it wowed me, but when I think about everything packed in here, and the fact that I never seriously considered not finishing it in the months that it took me to read it, I think this is a win.

I mean, duh. Factory farms are a ripe setting for horror - more people should do this!
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I’ve always thought that Middle Grade must be the hardest category in which to write. It needs to appeal to such a narrow niche in such a narrow way, and the author has to be able to come up with just the right blend of silly and grown-up for that very volatile age group. Paolo Bacigalupi manages to get it just right.

His hero is 13-year old Rabindranath Chatterjee-Jones, called Rabi by his friends, who lives in a company town dominated by Milrow Meat Solutions, a processing plant making beef to
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Zombie Baseball Beatdown is one of those books you think will be silly, gross and the perfect book for middle grade boys. All of this is true, but there is so much more to the story and characters than just a horrific zombie story. Rabi is our main character, being an Indian American, he faces some bullying from a boy on his baseball team. When his mother has to leave to go to the funeral of a relative, he convinces her to leave him behind to stay with his friend Miguel.

An unfortunate factory a
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fiction
I read this with an eye toward booktalking for the junior high kids, and I really didn't expect to enjoy it... I really don't do zombies, but I know a lot of kids do, and so I figured I'd force myself to read this zombie book so I could tell kids about it, since they will surely enjoy it.

But I did really like it! I still don't really care about zombies but I'm super invested in YA critiques of CAFO farming and US treatment of undocumented workers, and I loveddd how this is a very reasonable crit
Heather Gunnell
Staff Pick

Rabi, Miguel, and Joe know something weird is going on at the local meatpacking plant, and they're determined to find out what. Especially after their baseball coach tries to eat their brains. This book goes beyond your standard zombie apocalypse story to touch on issues of immigration, corporate greed, and just what goes into the food we eat. I highly recommend it.
Josh Newhouse
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I thought id taste and put down but you know what it wasn't I finished it on the day I really enjoyed it despite some serious suspension of disbelief and of course the greedy evil corporation just a fun creepy gross read kids will love! thanks Siri for the lack of punctuation.
Derek Watson
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Zombie Baseball Beatdown was about Rabi and Miguel and how they are playing baseball on the Delbe Diamondbacks deling with a bully on their team sammy who is always picking on them and saying they suck at baseball. Also miguel has a secret his parents were imgrants and they got deported and now miguel wants Rabi to keep he secret. Also Rabi and Miguel went to the meat packing plant to expose Sammy's dad for doing illegal experiment's on their animals.

my favorite character was Miguel because he a
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I needed something fun and relatively quick to read last week. Fortunately, I had a copy of Paolo Bacigalupi's Zombie Baseball Beatdown that I picked up at Book Expo of America.

This is a middle grade book about baseball and the U. S. meat industry and racism and bullying and comic books and of course, the zombie apocalypse. It’s the first book I’ve read from Bacigalupi, and it’s rather different from his other work.

The bad news is that while the violence is rather cartoonish, it would still give
Ethan J
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is very good due to its epic plot and mystery around the meatpacking plantation near the baseball fields. But the main characters Rabie, Miguel, and Joe are playing baseball on the fields right next to a meatpacking factory when suddenly a disturbing smell lashes out the meat packing factory and the cows are turned into zombies due to the toxic slop they ate that changes them. So the workers cut the cows up into patty's and feed them to the community. This is were the three main chara ...more
Cover is misleading. One thinks the book is going to be about fighting zombies for most of the book. But really there is one zombie fight scene in the beginning then another at the end. The rest is filler about animal food production, immigration issues and reinforcing stereotypes. I can get past that a cover that is misleading because a lot of covers have little to do with book content. But my main problem was the huge amount of racism and the underlying theme that all Hispanics are undocumente ...more
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
If there's one thing I'm gathering from my reading this year, it's that Iowa is the fictional hub for some weird s*** goin' down in America. I think it's the corn.

I was curious to see whether a middle grade zombie book could actually be achieved, and Bacigalupi delivered. The zombie thing *does* take quite a bit longer than expected to really get going though, and in the meantime, Bacigalupi ties in food/animal ethics to make the whole scenario believable and meta. He also discusses white privil
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Who knew Paolo Bacigalupi could also do hilarious? I've loved everything he's written sofar, but I didn't know about the funny side. This book has the promised zombies, and a big fat ol' streak of satire, but it's also great fun. There's Rabindranath Chatterjee-Jones, our geeky hero, whose middle school misery is compounded by his mother turning up to his baseball games in a neon-yellow sari and yelling out his full name in support of his truly dire efforts at baseball. There's his best friends, ...more
Kevin Lanahan
Dec 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, teen, zombies
This is the second young-adult zombie book my beloved wife has brought home for me. Where Eat Brains Love treated zombie-ism as an STD, this outbreak is caused by the beef processing industry. So, meat bad. Oh, and let's throw in immigration, bullying, corporate lawyers and clueless parents.

The basic plot is that a bunch of kids uncover a corporate conspiracy and live to tell the tale

Seriously, the author went through every meme and trope on this one, trying to make one stick. I expected to see
It was an ordinary day of baseball and being bullied for Rabi, Joe, and Miguel when the zombie apocalypse began. Rabi gets attacked by the baseball coach and gathers his friends to help him save their small town. The three friends soon learn that the zombies may have come from the meat packing plant, who tried to sweep a tainted meat scandal under the rug. Will the three be able to uncover the full story, and keep the world from a major catastrophe?

This book is so much more than just zombies, ba
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am not a fan of zombie literature, and I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of the story line in this book. While it does have the requisite zombie fight scenes, there are so many more levels to this book. It deals with the contemporary issues of illegal immigrants and factory reform in a way that middle grade students will relate to and understand.

Rabi, Miguel, and Joe are on the same baseball team. While practicing one day, they notice some strange goings on at their town's meat packin
May 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
1. Misleading title alert! Better off as "Fast Food Nation with Zombies" or "Gross-Out Books with a Strong Moral Conscience."

2. I thought parts of it were creative. I liked the protagonist, Rabi, who couldn't hit a baseball to save his life and Rabi's friends, who are cartoonish in their quailities of humility and bravery (Miguel) or tomfoolishness (Joe.) I like the idea of a zombie-action-gross-out boyhumor book that has some deeper themes in it.

3. BUT I found myself swinging in and out of exte
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fall-2013
I thought that this was a funny, sometimes-gross story about friendship, bullies, the evils of the corporate food industry, and all that is wrong with the US policy on illegal immigrants. Oh, yeah and zombies. This fast-paced story was engaging from cover to cover--a perfect read for boys or anyone who wants to laugh out loud and be grossed out on the same page of a book.
April Franklin
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not my typical read, but it was actually really well done and a lot of fun. It touches on a lot of real issues, like factory farming and immigration, while still in the end being a fun book full of zombie cows and some truly funny situations. I will be recommending this one to plenty of reluctant readers at the library!
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Awesome YA story about baseball, meat-packing plants (yes, I flashed back on THE JUNGLE by Upton Sinclair), and zombies. Plus how illegal immigrants are handled and small-town prejudice. Lots of great thoughtty stuff to counterpoint the YA derring-do of our heroes.

(I bought two copies, one for me and one for a friend who also enjoys Paolo's work and definitely enjoyed this novel!)
Jonah Simmons
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really loved the book it takes comedy and action to a whole new level in my opinion and it's just like real life everybody learns to like and some time despise each other some other books don't have this aspect of reality but this one certainly does and in my personal preference this is probably my favorite book I have ever read
I picked this book up in an attempt to read outside my normal interests. Sports and zombies are not usually my thing, and I was anticipating a light read, only to discover a critique of the meatpacking industry, corporate greed, racism, and immigration laws. Plus zombies (including zombie cows) and some baseball.
Tony Fecteau
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was read to my son Calvin. He loved the book and wants a second book! The characters were full and robust. Good back stores and lots of back text. Fun!
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I thought this was delightful!
Jim Beatty
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Working together, we can do anything.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 This is a Maud Hart Lovelace selection and a title I've seen on lots of library's summer book club lists. It's entertaining, fast-paced, wacky, and violent in a campy Walking-Dead way (up to and including the head of a zombie cow used as a hood ornament) (the graphic-though-campy violence might bother a few readers). It may raise kids' awareness of factory farm practices, how power works in a capitalist society, and what it's like to live under the constant threat of deportation (all of whic ...more
This was a pretty fun kid's book. I think it's for middle grades, not even YA. I just dig most of the author's work and this brings the same sort of social/class/environmental consciousness in a sparsely-built-but-intriguing world vibe. The ending was (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This will appeal to the middle school boys, but it was not my cup of tea. It's really a cry against the meat-packing industry and condemnation for the businesses that exploit immigrant workers. I was disappointed after loving Ship Breaker so much because the level of writing here was just weaker--heavy emphasis on dialogue rather than character development.
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Paolo Bacigalupi is an award-winning author of novels for adults and young people.

His debut novel THE WINDUP GIRL was named by TIME Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009, and also won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. Internationally, it has won the Seiun Award (Japan), The Ignotus Award (Spain), The Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis (Germany), and the Grand

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