Zombie Makers

True Stories of Nature's Undead (2013)
Zombie Makers

If you believe that zombies are only in scary stories or movies…think again.  If you are grossed out at the thought of creatures that take over the bodies and brains of other creatures, this review--let alone this book--is not for you.  Just walk away.

Are you still here?  Read on if you dare. Although the zombies in Johnson’s book are not of the “people” kind you might see in a movie, they are creepy enough for even the bravest reader—and they are real, as are the parasitic life forms that invade them.  Featured are various victims, such as a hapless housefly infected with a certain fungus which causes it to stare dazedly and walk with slow, jerky movements as if forced, while the fungus digests the fly from the inside out; or, the unwitting cricket who, paralyzed by the sting of a female jewel wasp, becomes both babysitter and dinner for her young. Each chapter focuses on a zombie trait as exhibited by a host creature, as well as the nature of each zombie maker, and the science behind the story. There are plenty of gruesome photos showing zombie makers—animal, vegetable and even viral--and their prey, accented with oozy, blotchy graphics.  Is there a zombie maker that can change a human brain?  Take a look: you may find that zombies are closer than you think!

Recommended for ages 10-14, perhaps the brave 9-year-old.  Not recommended for the squeamish.

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