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Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite
Looks like there's a new kind of Mad Cow Disease running around. Sure you want to eat that burger? Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi (Shipbreaker, The Drowned Cities) is an awesome, fast paced zombie/apocalypse yarn that tackles issues like racism, immigration, and factory farming as well as problems of the undead sort.
When thirteen-year-old Rabi (short for Rabindranath) and his friends Miguel and Joe encounter a really big stink while playing baseball near their town's local feedlot, little do they know that it's Ground Zero for some really nasty zombie pathogens. Then their team's baseball coach gets too close to one and becomes a zombie himself. When no one believes them, they are forced to investigate on their own, fending off zombies and corrupt corporations. Rabi and his friends must get to the bottom of the zombie outbreak and prevent the tainted zombie meat from reaching the supermarket shelves.
I'm a HUGE fan of Paolo Bacigalupi so, even though Zombie Baseball Beatdown was geared toward a slightly younger audience than his previous two books, I was still super excited and it did no disappoint. It's totally awesome and Bacigalupi doesn't make the mistake of talking down to his readers, even when dealing with heavier topics like racism, immigration, and corporate corruption. Rabi's a very likable character and topics he and his friends bring up while beating back the zombie hoard are sure to spark discussion.
Zombie Baseball Beatdown reminded me of a mix between Beauty Queens and Bud Not Buddy and the action packed cover is sure to draw anyone's eye.