Review Blog

Jan 15 2019

A good night for shooting zombies by Jaco Jacobs

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One World, 2018. ISBN 9781786074508
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Themes: Adventure. Martin aka 'Clucky', is a quirky 13 year old mathematician and heir to his father's egg business. Vusi owns a dog who likes to bite chickens. Confronting your neighbour about his murderous dog is not a great start, but friendship follows as Clucky sees that Vusi is recovering from treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Clucky is persuaded to help Vusi make a Zombie film, in which they will both star. When school chum Chris, spots them filming one day, she quickly becomes the female lead in Vusi's film.
But the prophetic 'The End of the World' film lands them in a bit of strife - first with an overprotective nurse and concerned parents but more worryingly with a gang of local thieves who store their booty in the old shed, serving as their movie studio.
It's not a long read to find out whether the film gets finished and the bad guys get caught. The first person narration is hard-hitting and compelling. Events hurtle along in Vusi's desperation to finish the film, punctuated by Martin's ongoing and sometimes hilarious hardships both at school and at home.
Jaco Jacobs first published this title in 2015, in his native Afrikaans. 2018 saw a movie version as well as this English translation by Kobus Geldenhuys, which is illustrated by Jim Tierney. With over 140 Afrikaans children's novels to his credit, this edition and perhaps a second copy to read simultaneously with a mate, will definitely not gather dust on our school library shelves.
Deborah Robins

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