After several years of getting zombie chapter books and middle grade books to review and ignoring them all, I finally decided to try and read all the books about the undead — or at least a lot. Surprisingly, some of these books were quite good. Really good. (And those that weren’t, I won’t bother telling you about. You’re welcome.)
I found that the zombie books for kids ages 6 – 13 were funny, even kooky, and not gross (which is what I expected) or scary (which is what I feared), or oriented towards voodoo (which just creeps me out.) Predictably, the YA books got more scary and creepy, and nightmare-inducing. (I’m a big baby because of my nightmares! Now you know my level of scaredy-cat-ness.)
So, if you have a kiddo who thinks zombies are cool and he or she is looking for book recommendations, well, here’s my list of good zombie children’s books.
A Horde of Zombie Books for Kids
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of a Dare by Herobrine Books (SERIES) (ages 6 – 10)
Short sentences with witty observations on life from the perspective of a Minecraft zombie that will crack you up. I was surprised, to say the least, that this was such an entertaining, funny read. Nothing scary. Just fun. Especially for Minecraft enthusiasts. (These are FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!)
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara and Marek Jagucki (SERIES) (ages 6 – 8)
Yes, even goldfish can become zombified. Who knew? And that goldfish can control your mind. (Which isn’t typical of a zombie and is more vampire-like, but whatever.) This is a funny, easy-to-read chapter book series that is fun for reluctant readers.
The Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer and Steve Wolfhard (SERIES) (ages 8 – 12)
Filled with cartoon illustrations, this early chapter book series highlights the bravery of a group of friends (and siblings) who will save the world from zombies. A fun adventure of kid-power.
Plants vs. Zombies by Paul Tobin and Ron Chan (SERIES) (ages 6 – 10)
I wasn’t expecting these books to be so funny in an ironic way that you don’t see in children’s books. Yes, there are zombies and kids with plants trying to kill the zombies (just like in the video game) but you’ll be surprised (as I was) to read comic panels like these: a man calling the police saying, “This is a mysterious call” or a woman reading her notebook with the words “no choice” and remarking, “This leaves me no choice,” HA. If your child likes these graphic novels, there are TONS of books in the series.
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Colgate (ages 8 – 12)
In this exciting book, the zombie apocalypse seems a bit fun. At least, that’s how Jack approaches life and zombie fighting. He and his best friend, Quint, live in an upgraded, well-defended treehouse where they plan to rescue his crush June (she doesn’t need rescuing, being quite capable) and fight zombies. Illustrations throughout make this even more appealing to read and imagine. Delightful. Who would have thought?!
Goosebumps Hall of Horrors #4: Why I Quit Zombie School by R.L. Stone 9ages 8 – 12)
I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read other Goosebumps books which are enticing for reluctant readers. In this book, Matt’s parents enroll him in zombie school, and he has to decide if he’ll try to save the people in his city from the zombies.
Dead City by James Ponti (ages 10 – 13) (SERIES)
Molly’s recruited to hunt zombies in New York City, just like her mother, who is dead. But is mom actually a zombie? And why is she trying to contact Molly? This is a great action-adventure story with a mystery and moral dilemma.
Jack Templar Monster Hunter: The Templar Chronicles: Book One by Jeff Guns (SERIES) (ages 10 – 15)
I liked this first book of the series — when he’s attacked by monsters more than once, Jack learns he’s a Monster Hunter who is now fair game to be hunted. It’s not as scary as it sounds but is more of an adventure with monsters which happens to include zombies. (The first book is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.)
Undertakers: The Rise of the Corpses by Ty Drago (SERIES) (ages 10 – 13)
A great kids-must-save-the-world book with a unique zombie/alien twist. Aliens are taking over corpses and reanimating them. Only some kids can see the real zombie beneath the alien “masks” — our hero gets the zombie sight and is rescued by a group of zombie fighters called Undertakers. He convinces the Undertakers group to stop being defensive but to be more aggressive and determine how to kill the corpses. I liked this book a lot!! (Free on Kindle Unlimited.) Also on Scary Chapter Books for Kids
Infinity: Chronicles of Nick (Chronicles of Nick Book 1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (SERIES) (YA ages 13+)
Yes, there are zombies in this first novel. However, the Chronicles of Nick series includes many magical, mythical and paranormall landscape. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed adventure about a teenager who possesses powerful magic that could destroy humanity. Of course, he doesn’t know it quite yet. But he will. 🙂
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry (SERIES) (YA / teen ages 13+)
It’s a creepy, scary, and somewhat bittersweet world of humanity who must survive in enclaves while the hoards of zombies roam the land — zombies who might have been family or friends. Mayberry does an amazing job at making the zombies pitiful and the zombie hunters’ job (so to speak) heartbreaking but necessary. At age 15, Benny must either fight zombies like his brother Tom or find a different job, or else his rations will be halved. So many of the “zoms” are people he once knew – and loved – and soon Benny learns there are people in the world who are worse than the zombies. Also on: Scary Chapter Books for Kids
Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles) by Gena Showalter (SERIES) (YA ages 13+)
A YA chapter book about Alice and zombies — that I recommend? Crazy but true! Alice’s father has embarrassed her all her life with his paranoia, refusal to go out after dark, even to a high school performance, and excessive drinking, but it turns out he is right! And now he, her mother, and her sister are dead. Alice learns the hard way that the world is zombie infested. Adventure and a little romance make this quite a page-turner.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (SERIES) (YA ages 13+)
Her life is controlled carefully by the Sisterhood until the fence is breached. Mary’s forced to survive in this end-of-times post apocalyptic adventure and romance. I liked this story a lot, but my 13-year-old’s friends didn’t like it at all.
The Passage by Justin Cronin (SERIES) (ages 17+)
This is an adult chapter book that scared the cr*p out of me– but it was such a page-turner. The twist is the scary zombie dudes aren’t really zombies but are killing as if they were zombies with one mind and lots of smarts after an infection the government gives prisoners goes wrong. It’s so well written that I kept reading. ONLY read at your own risk. Seriously. Freaky.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Charlie Allard and others (SERIES) (ages 17+)
I haven’t read these graphic novels about the zombie apocalpyse — they look too scary and gory for my tastes. But I’m sharing because a zombie round-up is hardly complete without the quintessential comic book zombie series. The Walking Dead is also a tv series.