Book Review: A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM by K.G. Campbell

Cover: A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM by K.G. Campbell, Book 1 in the Zombie Problems Series.
A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM by K.G. Campbell is out June 4, 2019 from Random House Kids

Thank you to Netgalley and to Random House Kids for the digital ARC of A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM. It’s the first in what looks to be a fun series by the illustrator of Flora & Ulysses. K.G. Campbell has written picture books, but this is his MG debut as an author/illustrator.

Our charmingly dorky hero August DuPont, a butterfly magnet, has spent his entire life shut up in a crumbling mansion with his agoraphobic, lepidopterophobic (it’s a word, look it up) aging beauty queen great Aunt Hydrangea as she mourns the demise of the DuPont hot sauce empire.

It all starts when the grocery delivery boy accidentally drops August’s box of moon pies in the DuPont driveway, forcing him to leave his home. There August meets neighborhood kids who tell him he’s rumored to be a ghost, and that he has cousins living nearby. Their great aunt, of course, is heiress to a rival, bad-guy hot sauce company who probably stole their recipe from the DuPonts.

It’s on his first walk home from his loathsome cousins’ house that, naturally, August hears scratching in a nearby mausoleum and makes the acquaintance of a zombie girl named Claudette. She’s beautiful and charming (save the fact that her eyes keep falling out) and August needs to protect his new friend from his newfound great aunt’s evil schemes.

This is a really gory story – Claudette loses a body part at a fancy ice cream parlor – but told with such flowery prose and situational irony the reader hardly notices.

The story is somewhat slow to get going, with the initial zombies not appearing till later in the book. Also, Campbell’s storytelling style is spot-on neo-Victorian omniscient narrator (amazing in League of Beastly Dreadfuls, Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, etc), that the first reference to television was a bit jarring.

A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM is out June 4, 2019 from Random House Kids, and is first in the Zombie Problems series.



This is a really gory story – eyes falling out at ice cream parlors, but told with such flowery prose the reader hardly notices.

The story is somewhat slow to get going, with the initial zombies not appearing till later in the book. Also, Campbell’s storytelling style is spot-on neo-Victorian omniscient narrator (amazing in League of Beastly Dreadfuls, Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, etc), that the first reference to television was a bit jarring.

This book is first in a series; now that we’ve met Claudette, I look forward to seeing more adventures. There are a lot of seeds of weird and crazy planted for it.

A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM is out June 4, 2019 from Random House Kids.

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