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A to Z Mysteries #26

The Zombie Zone

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Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are excited to vacation in the Louisiana bayou. But the small village they visit has a scary problem. The villagers tell stories of voodoo and a giant zombie with silver hair who has been digging up graves in the cemetery. Can the tales be true? Illustrations.

85 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2005

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About the author

Ron Roy

151 books334 followers
Ron Roy has been writing books for children since 1974. He is the author of dozens of books, including the popular A to Z Mysteries®, Calendar Mysteries, and Capital Mysteries. When not working on a new book, Ron likes to teach tricks to his dog Pal, play poker with friends, travel, and read thrilling mystery books.

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5 stars
754 (40%)
4 stars
507 (27%)
3 stars
449 (24%)
2 stars
112 (6%)
1 star
33 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 109 reviews
Profile Image for Amy.
1,131 reviews
October 5, 2011
My niece enjoys these A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy, so we decided to try reading a few in anticipation of Halloween.

My niece said that she enjoyed Zombie Zone and said that it was pretty scary. At first I didn't think that she was going to really care much for this story because she seemed to have a hard time tuning in. As the story grew, however, the book had her full attention and she began attempting to solve the mystery. She was paying attention to the clues, making deductions, and using logic to create various very plausible solutions to the mystery. Great brain exercise in the guise of entertainment!

We both agreed that while Zombie Zone was a good story, it wasn't nearly as good (or as scary) as The Haunted Hotel, and in *my* opinion Zombie Zone was probably the weakest of the stories we've read in this series. I thought the plot was a little thin, and frankly, I had a hard time with why the grandmother in this story would allow the children to go camping with a stranger in the gator infested bayous of Louisiana without batting an eye, but then, that's just me. This did give my niece and me the opportunity to have a refresher talk about strangers, but for the most part, I just had to let the protective adult in me take a break so my niece could just enjoy the book. These books, after all, are not written for grown ups.

As for my nephew, this book was far above his level of understanding, but I think he did enjoy it in his own way. I know he was listening to the story on and off, and he was certainly looking at the occasional pictures. I think it's good to let him hear the chapter books we read, if only to expose him to more advanced reading and more advanced words.

All in all, Zombie Zone was appropriate for my 2nd grade niece. It's at her reading and comprehension level, and as I indicated above, it was a good book to exercise her problem solving skills. But in my opinion, there are better written and more entertaining mysteries in this A to Z series.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
5 reviews2 followers
July 8, 2011
Ugg. Sometimes it's hard having a third grader. he loves to read which I'm so thankful for but some of these chapter books are killing me. I say how about you read that one to yourself and he says to me " mom I need to practice voice and fluency". ummm ok
Profile Image for Madison Henson.
44 reviews2 followers
October 4, 2016
Bryon didn't mean to steal leather wallet from Jay Frisk.
Two men came and dug up a graves, carried the coffins away. When they were gone, Bryon found the dirt. He saved it for them, but they didn't come back.
Profile Image for Jeremiah Murphy.
216 reviews2 followers
February 9, 2021
Wow! This one had some dark elements for an A to Z mystery (grave robbery, zombies). But by the end, it fits in with the rest of the series. I usually give these four stars—because my six year old likes them so much. But as a parent, I’m docking one star for things that bothered me:

*showing the kids wandering alone in the woods and talking to strangers
—I really like the optimism in these books that the world is full of people happy to help children solve mysteries, but I felt a little uneasy this time

*going camping with a sort of stranger
—the kids are in New Orleans with one of their grandmothers. She hires a guide to keep the kids busy while she takes an art class. The guide asks if he can take the kids camping overnight. The grandmother says yes. The kids sleep in their own tent. But still...

*the kids’ guide takes off and leaves them with a woman who says she’ll watch them, she then tells them to go run around in the woods because she’s busy.
—I get that kids like to read stories of children doing things on their own. And the writer then has to come up with reasons for them to be without grownup supervision. But this one, maybe combined with the other elements, seemed odd. The woman does give the kids a whistle if they need help. But still odd.

My daughter loved this one so much, she read a chapter on her own. While the story was about grave robberies and zombies, the end was very Scooby Doo.
Profile Image for Alba Arango.
Author 21 books106 followers
April 5, 2021
Not scary, just fun!

My great nieces love the A to Z Mysteries chapter books, so when I found this one at a thrift store, I decided to read it and see what the books are like. So glad I did! The three main characters, Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose, head to the Louisiana bayou for vacation, but soon get pulled into a new mystery. Locals of the small village tell stories of a silver-haired zombie that has been digging up graves. The three sleuths decide to do a bit of investigating to see if it’s really a voodoo zombie, or something else.

What I liked: super fun mystery! Nothing scary (even if the cover may look a little creepy), so it’s perfect for the 6-8 age range it is intended for. The three main characters are likable and relatable, and the plot moves quickly and keeps the reader’s interest. It’s a great introduction to the mystery genre for kids, and would be good as a read aloud for younger kids.

What I didn’t like: not much. The ending was a little odd, although it was informational, and didn’t exactly tie into the mystery, but that’s not necessarily unusual.

All-in-all, a fun read.

5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gwen.
396 reviews
July 3, 2020
Hey, Louisiana! I met the author there by happenstance.
Profile Image for Olivia Collins.
8 reviews1 follower
September 26, 2019
this book is about ruh rose and josh and dink are going camping with jack then there is a grave robber
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ava.
102 reviews
April 3, 2022
This series was very enjoyable! I love the idea of an A to Z series, and Ron Roy delivered this well! This was a fun experience and I’m glad I tried this out.
Profile Image for Abigail.
3 reviews
September 27, 2009
Do the zombies really come out at night or is someone pranking the town?
Profile Image for Brent Ecenbarger.
631 reviews9 followers
August 2, 2020
"Cliff (age 5) review - It was really scary, and all of that scary stuff made it really good, so I give it five stars."

"Dean (age 3) review -I give it 10 hundred stars." Dean, what was your favorite part? "I liked in Willy Wonka when the girl went down the garbage chute."

Basically Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose go down to new the bayou and immediately start hearing about grave robbers and zombies. Then they get left with some shady adults who don't supervise them and see a silhouette of a man stepping out of a grave in the middle of the night. A lot of the book is them trying to figure out who the man was they saw in the grave, and why.

This was much better than The Yellow Yacht but still a step down from The Missing Mummy or The Absent Author. The mystery seemed a little grown up for my kids to solve. **Spoiler alert** The plot revolves around driving down the property rates so land can be developed. **End of spoiler** Also, the bad guys are only in the book for a split second, and I got the feeling my boys didn't even remember that we'd read about them before when they were revealed.

On the plus side, Cliff's right that this was a fun scary book for kids. The illustrations are spooky at times and a few chapters end on cliffhangers of impending doom. We read the last four chapters all at once, so our boys were definitely invested enough to find out the mystery even if we were all a bit let down by it.
10 reviews
January 7, 2022
This book is all right. It’s built nicely and closer to the middle it did sorta pulled me in a bit, but wasn’t enough to amaze me. The other A to Z Mysteries were much better. The title and cover book picture isn’t as interesting as what it makes the story out to be. I’d probably recommend reading to anyone who has read ALL of Roy’s A to Z Mysteries in case they want to complete reading these series, even if you don’t, you’re not missing out much! I feel like the climax of this book is weak.

I do like the fact that this book hinted at suspects which gives readers a chance to guess who the grave robbers are and then reveals the culprit during the climax.

I think it’s a good book recommended for kids who aren’t looking into anything heavy and not much going on, but if they want to be bedazzled, they should consider Roy’s other works or other mystery books.

I’m a fan of Mary Downing Hahn’s books! Her books are ghost related stories that might not be for kids who are too young and good for elementary students.
348 reviews
September 10, 2018
Good story, but I was majorly disappointed that all three kids, Ruth Rose's grandmother, and Jack ignored a big clue. The person in the grave had a flashlight and watch. Doesn't that seem a little out of place for a village that lives in makeshift huts with homemade stoves, vegetable gardens, hand-created clothes, and no electricity? Given how much they clung to the DIY way of living, how was Byron a suspect? Also, how could Jack believe for even a second that it could have been a man from the village guarding the cemetery given the pre-stated fact? If someone had acknowledged this, I would have given it 5 stars, but I have to lower my rating for this.
Profile Image for Blue.
452 reviews27 followers
April 27, 2018
I might have missed it, but I thought Ruth's grandmother was in Florida but then New Orleans is mentioned for the police department?

These children are having a really busy summer - W-Z are all outside of Greenlawn and in the Summer, although the concert was near by.

As scared as the trio was, they never thought to wake Jack, nor does it occur to them that a local person would not have used a flashlight.
Profile Image for Roxanne.
Author 1 book52 followers
August 25, 2018
I have to say this one felt like even more of a stretch than usual. The premise of them being in New Orleans, the proximity of their hotel in the city to a very rural area, the whole bit with their guide's wife having a baby (which was totally concocted to give the kids more time in the woods) - it all felt pretty contrived. But my daughter really enjoyed it and found the "zombie" parts just the right amount of scary.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Simon.
1,087 reviews23 followers
May 8, 2019
Read these books when I was a kid and greatly enjoyed them, figured I'd give them a second read for kicks.

I certainly recommend any young mysteries fan devote time to this series, it's certainly a grand adventure for a young mind, the imagery of Ron Roy's words and his settings and unique character descriptions and personalities really help kids imagine a whole movie in their heads as they read each exciting page.
Profile Image for Sruty Zu.
76 reviews1 follower
January 8, 2021
I am a lousy person who reads A to Z Mysteries to complete her reading goal! I accept it I do!

But these are seriously fun things to read otherwise any idiot won't read a book a day.

The truth is The Zombie Zone doesn't have any zombies but qhat it has is the end of A to Z Mysteries since its last of it after this though - no worries there are Super Editions!

Love the book as every one by Ron Roy!

Book 4 of Jan
Book 4 of 2021
Profile Image for Mary T.
1,534 reviews9 followers
November 10, 2020
I wasn't as tuned into this one as normal. We were trying to finish the series before it was due back to the library, and I was half-listening. We've LOVED this series -- listened to all 26 in a row during the COVID pandemic. It was great to experience them together as a family. Thank you, Ron Roy!
Profile Image for Kim.
955 reviews3 followers
September 3, 2021
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose visit New Orleans, Louisiana with Ruth Rose's grandmother. While there they visit a village that doesn't use electricity, they camp out on a beach near the Gulf of Mexico, watch an alligator nest hatch, and meet some unique but friendly people. They also see zombies in graves and help solve the mystery of the grave robberies.
192 reviews
June 20, 2022
Now A to Z is my favorite type of Series. So basically I love every book so this is my second favorite book .Actually maybe second last favorite book. Anyways Dink Josh and Ruth Rose are excited to vacation in the Louisiana bayou but they see a cemetery they hear people saying there is a zombie digging for buried people is it true read to find out
Profile Image for Sandra.
253 reviews3 followers
July 24, 2022
I’ve read the entire series. In spite of being an adult, I find books enjoyable and well written. I have to admit my favorites are the first book in the series and this one. Ironic that the first and the last books in the series that are my favorites. The plot abd setting were both original and the story was just twisted enough to appeal to an adult.
1 review
October 22, 2017
Read this to my grandson

Very fun book to read aloud to my grandkids over FT. Gives some facts and introduces kids to the various cultures and beliefs around the country. A light mystery showcasing problem solving. I am now a fan of A to Z Mysteries!
Profile Image for Katie Merkel.
Author 1 book3 followers
January 3, 2019
This particular book was not my favorite, but I am sad that I have finished the A to Z Mysteries series. The books are all well written and show strong friendships and good relationships between kids and adults. I highly recommend this series for 1st-2nd graders.
21 reviews
May 29, 2020
Fun to read with kids.

I loved these books as a kid and I still love them now, but now I love them as a teacher. They are simple and predictable but still give enough possibilities to have fun group discussions.
Profile Image for BookWitch_Namine.
47 reviews13 followers
June 2, 2020
I'm having a lot of fun reading these out loud to my younger family members. They have fun recognizing Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose in every picture and tracing their movements on the map at the front of the book. A win-win.
150 reviews
June 24, 2020
"Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are excited to vacation in the Louisiana bayou country. But the small village they visit has a scary problem. The villagers tell stories of voodoo and a giant zombie with silver hair who has been digging up graves in the cemetery. Can the zombie be real?
Profile Image for Anthony.
5,096 reviews25 followers
August 14, 2020
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose spend their vacation with Ruth Rose's grandmother in New Orleans Louisiana, and find themselves involved in a mystery involving Zombies and grave robbers. Chills and thrills are abundant as the trio try and uncover the truth in a village along the gulf of Mexico.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 109 reviews

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