Books Reviewed by CKT

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of a Dare by “Zack Zombie”

Published by Scholastic Australia

Boys who love to play Minecraft will be delighted to read this book as Zack Zombie gives everyone insight into what it is like to be a Zombie in the game. While it is an unofficial Minecraft book, it is firmly based in the world of the Minecraft game world. Zack has many of the usual troubles of a primary school age boy, hates getting up (in the night), doesn’t always do what his parents’ say, tolerates school, and jokes with his mates (a skeleton, a slime, and a creeper). Except that he is dead, being a Zombie of course, Zack is an ordinary 12-year old. He even figures out how to use his Zombie body to skip school: a missing limb usually gives him at least a day off.

There is one difference between Zack and the others at his Scare School though: Zack has a human friend, Steve, (the default character in Minecraft, so anyone who plays Minecraft would identify themselves with Steve. He doesn’t tell anyone but sometimes he can chat to Steve who says that Zombies and humans aren’t that different, (except of course for the smell).

Scare school is like any school where not everyone will get along and there is always some rivalry. Zack hates Jeff, who of course is better looking than Zack: “He’s a nicer shade of green than I am”. Primary school age boys will appreciate the embarrassment Zack feels when a nasty teacher reads his note to his mate out to his class, especially as the note says who he likes. When Sally Cadaver is around, Jeff takes the opportunity to dare Zack to touch an Iron Golem (which normally kill zombies within the game).

This little book has a lot to offer young boys. In taking the boys into a gaming world that they are already familiar with, this book allows the boys to identify quickly with the characters. The words are easy to read with quite a large font used, similar to simple handwriting, so it is a great book for a boy who hates reading. Although there are some areas where this book seems just too simplistic and more details would have helped (especially for someone unfamiliar with Minecraft), there is plenty for young readers to identify with and lots of reasons to keep reading to a great surprise ending.

There are plenty of jokes, both insider jokes for the Minecraft players, and just generally funny lines guaranteed to make anyone smile. Of course, there are quite a few zombie jokes too: like when he asks his Mum about where zombies come from and she seems tongue-tied, and then he remembers she doesn’t have a tongue anymore.

While there are no specific chapters, there is a break with the start of each new day’s entry, allowing the reader to pick up the book and read a short section quickly when time allows. The book feels quite fast-paced, so the readers won’t get bored and the daily sections are short enough to encourage a reader to read another one. This book is just good fun and will encourage young boys to read.

A Scare of a Dare is the first in a series of Diary of a Minecraft Zombie books and will be sure to hook the Minecraft gamer into reading more of the books.

Reviewed by Hayley Hunkin
CKT Book Reviewer

Author: Zack Zombie
Title: Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of a Dare
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
ISBN: 9781743811504
Published: November 2016
Age: 6+


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