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A Small Zombie Problem

(Zombie Problems #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  82 reviews
In his fiction debut--and the start of a new series--celebrated illustrator K.G. Campbell brings a touch of Tim Burton to this singularly strange and wonderful story about a lonely boy whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when a zombie follows him home.

August DuPont has spent his whole life inside a dilapidated house with his aunt Hydrangea. His lonely e
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Ivonne Rovira
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Pity poor August DuPont, a boy who has spent a cloistered life of genteel poverty with his hypochondriac Aunt Hydrangea in sweltering southern Louisiana. She is so frightened of life that even butterflies terrify her. But when the zombie Claudette becomes enamored of him, August discovers who his real friends are and what really living means.

Despite a too-abrupt ending, A Small Zombie Problem otherwise provides a great read, never preachy and — dare I say it? — always genteel. Author K.G. Campbe
Belles Middle Grade Library
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Before diving into the 2nd book, I dived into the 1st lol this was such a great read! I had so much fun. Such an imaginative, unique story. I loved August so much! He has spent his whole life in a crumbling house w/his somewhat crumbling, fearful, kooky aunt. He’s never even been off the front porch. This all ends when he unexpectedly gets a letter from an aunt to come to lunch. It’s then suggested he should attend school w/his cousins-the aunt & these cousins he never even knew existed before n ...more
Shauna Yusko
More for elementary. Not quite the “zombie” book middle schoolers want. But I enjoyed the writing and main character.
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Random House Children’s. Trigger warnings: death, mild body horror, mild eye horror, bullying, anxiety, agoraphobia.

August DuPont has never left the battered old house where he lives with his Aunt Hydrangea, a former Chili Pepper Princess who’s mortally afraid of butterflies. When he receives a surprise invitation from another aunt he never knew he had, he dares to brave the outside world in the hopes of having friends, schooling,
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
- The story is a little slow, especially at the beginning. It gets better towards the end.

- The zombie doesn't show up until about halfway through the book. I wish the story had focused a little more on her.

- I enjoyed the whimsical characters and the family history. The characters are what really drive the story. I hope Madame Marvell shows up more in the series.

- I really liked reading this with my daughter. It was fun to see her reactions to things. She liked the story, and she thought it w
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars for book version (4 stars for audio since I swapped between the two)

Review posted at For What It's Worth on 7/8/2019:

*Source: copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A very enjoyable children's book by writer/illustrator K.G. Campbell. Taking place in a fictional version of Louisiana, orphan August DuPont lives with his eccentric aunt in the dilapidated manor house of the once prosperous Dupont hot sauce dynasty. Having never ventured outdoors in his life, he takes his first steps into the wider world upon discovering that he has cousins that are still wealthy, and picks up the "small zombie problem" of the title along the way.
I got this as an uncorrected ga
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Small Zombie Problem was a cute middle grade book about a lonely boy who just wants to make friends but it gets complicated when a zombie girl follows him home. 

August is a very sheltered boy who lives with this eccentric Aunt Hydrangea who is a bit stuck in her past glory of being the Chili Pepper Princess. She is pretty much afraid of everything so August has never even been outside. He was stuck inside making interesting little skeleton people and watching TV through his binoculars and base
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yabc-reviews
See my full review here:

A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM is a charming story in the vein of A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS and Tim Burton. August is a boy who has lived his whole life in a dilapidated house. He likes to create skeleton figurines. His family had an empire based on hot sauces, which ended, and now, he lives with his aunt who is stuck in the past, wearing her Miss Chili Pepper Princess tiara and sash still today. His aunt is terrified of butterflies,
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun read! The illustrations were stunning, I loved that there was a full page in each chapter. I liked the fact that August actually learns things throughout the book about friendship, (sorry no spoilers) even though they made me sad. It was great that there were some darker, dare I say a few gross parts, it’s something I feel middle grade readers will really enjoy. As a self proclaimed lover of crystals, the fact that there were a lot mentioned throughout made me smile.

August wa
Ms. Yingling
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Copy provided by the publisher

Somewhat similar to Greenwald's A Zombie Ate My Homework, and just not the sort of zombie book my students want. They prefer things like Higson's The Enemy. This would be good for an elementary school where students have an interest in zombies.
Linda Spillman Bruns
Very funny! Even with a zombie, it is not scary. Does mention a child adding bourbon to his aunt’s drink. I liked it well enough to read the next in the series. BL 6.4; 5 pts. Good for younger reader with higher AR level
Sherry Guice
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book aloud and recorded it for my students...not sure how they liked it, but I did. Quirky characters set in a somewhat Louisiana-ish place...August lives in seclusion with his Aunt Hydrangea never leaving her decaying mansion...along comes a zombie--humorous but rich with complex vocabulary.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I have rather mixed feelings about this book. I did immediately feel empathy for August, who as the story opens has been stuck inside his aunt's house his entire life because of a rather weird phenomenon. And yet, the characters were rather too odd for my taste, and the zombie details were rather gross (an eyeball kept getting thrown around). The story is certainly a unique one, with August eventually befriending the zombie girl following him around. It's clear though from the moment that August ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
A Small Zombie Problem by K. G. Campbell, 229 pages. Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), 2019. $17.

Language: G Mature Content: G Violence: G



August DuPont lives with his Aunt Hydrangea in a dilapidated house in a Louisiana swamp. His aunt's phobias have kept him inside his whole life. He's never spoken a word to anyone other than his aunt. This all changes the day he receives a letter from his Aunt Orchid requesting a visit. Traveling to her
Melanie Dulaney
Quirky book designed to appeal to 3-5th graders who enjoy zombies but do not want to be terrified by the typical gruesome and undead. August has lived his entire life with his odd aunt in a decaying mansion, hidden from everyone. Turns out, his family used to be wealthy, but another branch of the family tree set them on the path to ruin. But a missing gemstone may be the way back to the former days of glory. Except that this stone calls to the dead and now August seems to have acquired his first ...more
What a hoot! I laughed a lot listening to this. The reader was so good that my DH thought it was different readers. It didn't end on a cliffhanger, exactly, but we are certainly ready for the next in the series. I did have a few issues with things like, how did August get his glasses? And even after 40 years, a hole in the living room floor? But, there's zombies, so ... ...more
Pop Bop
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Droll, Absurd, Heartwarming

I was amused, impressed, and entertained by this odd, and oddly endearing, book. In some respects it's similar to the work I admire from Roald Dahl and David Walliams, but it also carves out some fresh territory of its very own.

The setup is classic. August, a kind, observant, good natured boy in unusual circumstances has grown up without ever having left his rundown family mansion. According to the fictional rule of the "inciting incident" he is called upon to leave th
Storm Reads
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Small Zombie Problem was a cute middle grade book about a lonely boy who just wants to make friends but it gets complicated when a zombie girl follows him home.

August is a very sheltered boy who lives with this eccentric Aunt Hydrangea who is a bit stuck in her past glory of being the Chili Pepper Princess. She is pretty much afraid of everything so August has never even been outside. He was stuck inside making interesting little skeleton people and watching TV through his binoculars and based
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
At first, I wasn't sure what to make of this one. I mean, it screams ZOMBIES, but in all actuality, they were initially no where to be seen! First, we meet young August...a pale lad with honey colored eyes and a peculiar affliction of sorts that makes him a literal magnet for BUTTERFLIES. Yes, you read that right...butterflies...which doesn't sound bad, until you factor in the fact that his guardian, Aunt Hydrangea, is deathly afraid of butterflies (and pretty much the outside world at this poin ...more
Jessica (Spooky KidLit & We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone)
A Small Zombie Problem is a very serious and very silly tale about family, freedom, and zombies. The prose is genteel and sophisticated with tongue placed firmly in cheek, but it displays a great deal of empathy for its unfortunate main character. The narrative follows the misadventures of August DuPont, a young boy who attracts butterflies wherever he goes—which isn’t very far, since he hasn’t left his dilapidated house in his entire life thanks to his Aunt Hydrangea, a disgraced hot sauce heir ...more
David Edmonds
A Small Zombie Problem, K. G. Campbell's middle grade fiction debut, is a fun, quirky, Southern Gothic-flavored tale of family, secrets, family secrets, and zombies, obviously. August DuPont lives with his Aunt Hydrangea in their dilapidated family estate, the last members of the DuPont family and heirs to quickly dwindling DuPont's Peppy Pepper Sauce dynasty. August lives a solitary and lonely life, as he has never left his house at his aunt's insistence (she is agoraphobic and has convinced Au ...more
Tattooed Bibliophile
August is a ten year old boy who, as far as he can remember, has never left his home. So the run-down mansion he lives in with his hermit aunt doesn't seem that strange. Nor does his "medical condition," a condition which makes butterflies attracted to him.

But August longs for contact with the outside world. For friends. For an epic high-five. When he discovers that he has cousins, he thinks that all his dreams are finally coming true. All he wants is to fit in with them. But the zombie who foun
Valerie McEnroe
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adult rating: 4 stars
Kid rating: 3 stars

You have to appreciate quirky to appreciate this book. The plot and characters are...well...quirky. I really liked it, but with so many books out there, I'm not sure this one will get the attention it deserves.

August Dupont lives with his Aunt Hydrangea in a dilapidated house in a Louisiana swamp. His aunt's phobias have kept him inside his whole life. He's never spoken a word to anyone other than his aunt. He spends his days waiting for his mudd pie deliv
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
August DuPont is living with his eccentric Aunt Hydrangea in a home that is slowly falling apart. August has a strange problem. He attracts butterflies. The butterflies will land on his head, his shoulders, and so forth. He doesn’t know anyone but his aunt. Why? When he sees a boat, he watches a girl who lives on the boat. He watches a tv with binoculars that is on her boat. He isn’t allowed outside as his aunt worries for his safety. When his Aunt Orchid issues an invitation to August, he decid ...more
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
A Small Zombie Problem is a delightfully quirky middle-grade novel.

August is a socially awkward boy who grew up any interactions with the outside world. He wasn’t even allowed to leave his house because of his aunt Hydrangea’s paranoia! While this would cause problems in the modern-day world (as his aunt Orchid points out), it creates a fun premise from which to explore the best and the worst of humanity as August learns to navigate the social currents of the outside world. I appreciate how Augu
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it
August DuPont lives with his Aunt Orchid in a dilapidated mansion. A mansion he hasn't set foot outside since he was brought as a young child. The DuPont's were once wealthy, but after a family betrayal their hot sauce dynasty is down to the last few bottles. August spends his time reading, creating elaborate paper mache sculptures, and watching television through binoculars.

When he receives an invitation to visit the wealthy cousins he didn't even know he had, August cannot wait to get outside
Combining Southern Gothic and humor, this chapter book introduces readers to an unlikely hero in the form of August DuPont. Eleven-year-old August lives with his aunt, Hydrangea, in once was an impressive mansion. She is agoraphobic and afraid of butterflies and lives in the past when times were better and she was a beauty queen. August has never ventured forth from the house, but he does so when he receives an invitation to meet his aunt, a woman whose existence had not been known to him. She h ...more
Allison Parker
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Young August DuPont has more than one small problem. Firstly, his family's estate and wealth is dwindling into nothing, what with the family's precious hot sauce production slowing to a halt due to fierce competition. Secondly, August's only family, Aunt Hydrangea, is terrified of just about everything, especially butterflies, so she insists on keeping the dilapidated mansion locked up and August unable to venture outside. And thirdly, yes, there's a zombie problem. August has just recently lear ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
August DuPont has never stepped foot outside his once-grand-now-dilapidated-home. August lives with his eccentric Aunt Hydrangea and they must live off their rapidly dwindling family fortune. A chance encounter places three family members-another aunt and two cousins- into August’s life and he is thrilled to meet them. His Aunt Orchid makes promises of sending him to school with his cousins, but family secrets and a persistent zombie set August on an unexpected path. 

K.G. Campbell’s A Small Zomb
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K. G. Campbell is the author-illustrator of Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters. He was born in Kenya, raised in Scotland, and now lives in southern California.

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Zombie Problems (2 books)
  • The Zombie Stone

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