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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Twins Stacy and Gina Cavallaro are rivals on the baseball field, each pitching for a different little league team. Gina is a sports whiz and the star of her crack team, while Stacy's band of misfits hasn't won a game all season. The battling sisters also happen to be the youngest in a long line of local witches. So when Gina's magic spins out of control and her spell accidentally raises a zombie, the girls have to set aside their differences and figure out how to make everything going wrong, go right. And Stacy's team of misfits-Billy, Sanchez, Levi, Beans, Paddy, Killroy, Gomez, and Boots-must band together to save the day!…

Overall Book Review:

Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home is a fun romp of a horror-comedy. The protagonists are a lovable bunch of kids who everyone sees as losers because, well, they lose at baseball. They lose often and spectacularly, almost enough to make it seem like they are cursed. The speculation turns serious when they encounter one of the living dead…maybe they are cursed for real!

This graphic novel is just the right speed for young middle grade readers. The plot is straightforward yet has a satisfying depth to it. The characters are memorable and likable. The pages are full of excitement and humor, and the humor is clever enough that adults who read it may find themselves laughing along with the kids. Best of all, buried within the craziness of zombies and baseball and zombies playing baseball is lesson about friends and family and believing in yourself.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  The violence in this book is all cartoonish in nature. A bird is hit with a baseball (this is pointed out in dialogue, not shown in an illustration); a character hits another playfully; a character hits another with a stick; many pictures of zombies and ghosts which are illustrated in a comical/minimally scary way; characters are hit in the face with baseballs a few times; a couple of characters are hit by baseball bats; a character’s glasses are broken; a character is hit by a truck without injury; a character punches another; characters throw things at each other a few times; brief mention of a past murder; a character breaks a bone in a fall; a character hits another with a heavy object; characters fall off of bicycles a few times; a spirit possesses someone.

Sex/Nudity:  Joke that a boy “has the hots for” a girl; a boy tells another kid that he loves a girl.

Mature Subject Matter:

Characters practice witchcraft.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My taste in literature leans heavily towards sci-fi, fantasy, and (my favorite) horror, and the latter can present some fairly murky waters for parents to let their children explore. I enjoy novels of both the standard and graphic varieties. Since those genres, and graphic novels in particular, tend to appeal to boys, I hope that I can help other Boy Mommies in their quest to find books that their little video gamers--I mean, future bibliophiles will read and enjoy. When I am not reading, I enjoy tabletop role-playing games, video games, and singing karaoke. I have a wonderful husband who lets me indulge my reading habit by sharing the housework and being a great dad to our genius kids and their faithful hound.