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A Good Night for Shooting Zombies

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Martin’s life changes the day his dad is killed in a car accident. No one talks about it, his mum refuses to leave the house, and his only consolation through the sleepless nights is solving difficult maths problems. Until he forms an unlikely friendship with his neighbour Vusi who dreams of making a zombie movie. The two are plunged head first into a wild adventure, pulli ...more
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published October 11th 2018 by Oneworld Publications (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
This lovely middle-grade adventure novel was translated from Afrikaans to English and is shortlisted for the Found in Translation award. Since publication, it has also been made into a popular film in Afrikaans.

Martin and his mom live alone after the death of his father. They own a small plot of land, tend to their chickens and sell the eggs locally for income. Martin had to do some growing up in the last two years since his mom is not leaving the house and is still devastated over their loss.
Katy Noyes
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short story that reminded me of Freak the Mighty. With zombies.

Well, pretend zombies. Clucky (Martin's nickname) sees the world as numbers, and looks after his chickens, selling their eggs, when a neighbour's dog kills one of his birds. With his mum reclusive since the accidental death of his father, he goes round and confronts Vusi, punching him on the nose.

Later making friends, the pair end up making a zombie movie together, and form a close bond.

This is a v
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daar is sekere temas - deesdae kan 'n mens seker van 'meme' praat - wat dikwels in jeugboeke voorkom: 'n gestorwe ouer, 'n ongeneeslike siekte, sosiale probleme soos misdaad, eerste liefde. Ook uit die Afrikaanse boekery vir jong lesers kan 'n mens 'n lang lys opstel. In Jaco Jacobs se hande word dié bekende patrone in 'n nuwe, oorspronklike verhaal ingeweef: 'n groep dertienjariges, Martin Hoender Retief, sy buurman Drikus en Chris (die mooiste meisie in die skool) werk saam om 'n zombiefliek t ...more
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
All my reviews can be found at:
This review will post on my site on 11/21/18
This is a short novel aimed for children ages 9-12 that they will enjoy, especially if they like stories with zombies. (Though these zombies are not real.) This story was just recently translated into English from Afrikaans and there is also a movie I would like to see.

The story takes place in South Africa and features Martin (aka Clucky) who lost his dad a couple of years ago a
Kayleigh Kehoe ♡

"She said that her husband died ten years ago. That amounts to 3,652 days, if you add two days for leap years. And that amounts to 87,648 hours. How do you survive that many hours when you're as lonely as she is?"

Martin lost his dad when he was eleven years, seven months and six days old. After that, his sister became distant, his mother became an extremely agoraphobic, and all Martin - also known as Clucky - has for company and solidarity is his chickens. That is, until he punches h♡
Arkham Reviews
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
A Good Night for Shooting Zombies is a unique light-read, though it might not be quite what you were expecting from the title. It is actually contemporary fiction, focusing on two boys (one of whom is seriously ill) who bond over filming a zombie movie. However, the story did have a few problems.

My biggest issue with A Good Night for Shooting Zombies was its pacing. The novel is incredibly short, which makes it bite-sized for younger readers, but this really did impact its subject ma
After the recent death of his father in a tragic accident, Clucky is lonely and isolated. He cares for the chickens that his dad loved, relentlessly figures math problems which his dad loved, and is sad that his mom (whom his dad loved) is agoraphobic and emotionally separated after this tragedy.

When a neighbor's dog kills Kathleen, a chicken favorite, Clucky goes over to confront Vusi. Things are heated at first, but Clucky finds out that Vusi has cancer. The two realize they both have issues
Rina Coetzee Gous
'n Wonderlike jeugboek wat temas soos eerste liefde, siekte en die dood op 'n gemaklike manier hanteer. Ek lees nou en dan kinderboeke wat my kinders spesifiek geniet en is regtig bly dat ek my dogter van 10 se advies geneem het en hierdie boek ook gelees het. Behalwe dat dit vir my ook 'n heerlike leeservaring was het dit my baie insig gegee in hoe kinders rondom siekte en die dood dink en funksioneer. Wat ook insiggewend is is hoe kinders na mekaar kyk en die verskillende faksies wat daar in ...more
Dorine White
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martin lives life on a plot of land with his mom, Uncle Hendrik and sister Cindy. Martin is a numbers guy, and finds joy by working out number problems in his head. He spends the rest of his time raising the chickens his father left behind when he died in a car accident. When his neighbor's dog eats one of his prize chickens, Martin heads over to confront them with video proof. He meets Vusi, a boy his own age, whom he punches in the nose when Vusi makes a comment about his mother. Unknown to Ma ...more
Rebecca M
A Good Night for Shooting Zombies, set in South Africa, is a short but action-packed read by author Jaco Jacobs, brought to us by translator Kobus Geldenhuys and publisher Oneworld Publications. At first glance, you might assume this was an action and adventure story with some fantastic elements, but it's actually a unique contemporary story for young readers.

You wouldn’t think coming home to find the neighbor’s dog has killed one of your most cherished chickens would mean your life is about to
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Note: Oneworld Publications allowed me access to the ebook via Netgalley. Thank you!

On with the review...

A Good Night for Shooting Zombies is the sort of book I have a hard time classifying. Clucky is the sort of able narrator who gives just enough humor to temper the difficult things while still being precise enough to not have to ramble on for pages and pages to make his point. However, there were times it feels like the narration is for a younger audience than may be a
Kathleen Dixon
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathleen by: the Bookshop
I couldn't resist this book - the first page had me chortling. On top of that, a key protagonist had the same name as me. Well, she's kind-of a key protagonist ... after all, her death is what started it all. And okay, she's a chicken (literally), but she was important to Martin. And if the neighbour's dog hadn't killed her Martin would never have met Vusi because Vusi was homeschooled and never exited the house. So Kathleen is very important to the plot.

I might like to lay claim to ha
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, you don’t see a lot of books set in South Africa- so that’s why I accepted this ARC knowing nothing else about it.
Turns out it was a great decision as this coming of age book was short, sweet and quirky. Clucky (Martin) is a math guy and he sees the world through numbers. He meets a neighbor kid named Vusi who wants to make a zombie movie and unfortunately also has Hodgkins disease. The two boys end make making the movie working through the challenges of Vusi’s reality of treatments and s
Ek het 'n ruk gelede op hierdie skrywer se kinderboeke afgekom toe ek moderne Afrikaanse leesboeke vir my kinders begin soek het. Ons geniet sy boeke vir jonger kinders en hierdie een het ek vir my eie leesplesier by die biblioteek uitgeneem.

Ernstige temas soos die dood, kanker en groepsdruk as jy nie heeltemal deel is van die "in"-groep nie word deur die skrywer op hanteer in a formaat wat humor en menslikheid kombineer. Mal hieroor en sal meer van sy boeke vir my eie plesier soek.<
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Good Night for Shooting Zombies
By Jaco Jacobs
2018 (English translation)

An Early Reviewers book.
In this fast-paced novel for young teens, a small tragedy brings together a boy grieving the death of his father - Clucky - and a boy with terminal cancer - Vusi. Becoming quick friends, the two teens endeavor to make a zombie movie while Vusi is feeling well enough to take part. Friendships are made, mysteries are uncovered, and truths are unveiled.
Told from the point
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. A very sweet natured book aimed at teens and pre teens, it was a nice quick read. Set in South Africa, Clucky befriends his neighbour Vusi who is dying of Hodgkins disease. Vusi has a dream of making a zombie movie and Clucky helps him along the way. It is a book about friendship and doing the right thing. A book about teenage adventure, making memories and ignoring your parents wishes along the way!

I loved the ending when the whole c
This one reminded me a lot of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime": the protagonist has the same love of maths, is struggling to deal with the absence of a parent and ultimately ends up solving a mystery. I love the plot, the right mix of everyday life and the various shenanigans of the children trying to shoot their zombie movie. A quirky and engaging cast of characters just round the whole thing off nicely and it's the perfect quick read if you want a bittersweet heartwarming sto ...more
Andy Thorn
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great little children’s book. Deals with some big issues with a featherlight touch, sets a cracking pace and has endearing quirky characters. As a Maths teacher, I particularly enjoyed Clucky’s mild number obsession and this is a book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to some of the children that I teach.
Amanda Williams
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book went off on a tangent too much. I never knew whether i was coming or going. So disappointing. Unfortunately this was a big did not finish for me.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and quirky - but too, I think, superficial for me to fully get into
3.5 stars

I can't say much right now, but boy did this book make me feel a lot of emotions.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally written in Afrikaans, Jaco Jacobs middle-grade novel has been translated into English for this new release from OneWorld.

The book follows Martin or Clucky as he prefers to be known who has recently lost his father; since then his mother has stopped leaving the house and he's been left in charge of his father's chickens. When a neighbour's dog kills chicken Kathleen he goes round to confront them about it. There he meets Vusi who spends most of his days at home being treate
Laura Danks
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bittersweet middle-grade story with several important themes and a wealth of emotions.
Well written and interesting it makes a great read, the only complain is that it's too short.
More depth could have been added as my daughter (9yo) read this in less than an hour and she said she loved it but she wanted more. Something to consider perhaps?

Thank you, NetGalley for this copy.
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heerlik gelees aan die boek. Ek dink jong lesers sal dit baie geniet. Het nie lang hoofstukke nie en is geskryf met 'n vinnige pas.
Chantel Stouffs
rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2016
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martin is frustrated. Now that his father died in a car accident, no one will talk about it. The remaining family acts as if it hasn’t happened. He oftens end up going to visit his chickens and talks to them. He sells the eggs which has Given him the nickname Clucky. One day he meets Vusi, his next door neighbor who dreams of making a movie. Martin finds out that he really wants to make a zombi movie. However Vusi is in bed most of the time or not allowed to go outdoors. Why? Martin and Vusi fig ...more
Chris Leitner
rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2016
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
A Good Night for Shooting Zombies drew me in straight away with the cover which is really cute and fun. The actual story wasn't quite what I was expecting but I did enjoy it overall. It is a cute contemporary novel, aimed at the 9-12yr old / middle grade bracket, and short enough that I finished it in two fairly short sessions. It's definitely one that I'll be offering up to my children to read as I think that they would enjoy it too.

The protagonist, 'Clucky', was a fun narrator and
rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2019
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Jaco is op ’n klein Karoodorpie met die naam Carnarvon gebore. Hy was net sewe jaar oud toe hy al sy eerste storie geskryf en geïllustreer het (maar hy sê dit was so simpel dat nie eens sy ma en pa dit wou lees nie). Hy was sy hele skoolloopbaan in die Hoërskool Carnarvon, en in matriek was hy hoofseun (van ’n klas van net 14 matrieks!). Ná skool het hy B.A. Kommunikasiekunde en sy honneurs in Afr ...more