Title: The Student From Zombie Island
Author: Michael J. Moorehead
Publisher: Five Star Publications
Kids seems to be learning the unsavory art of gossiping early and early these days (oh gods, I’m old, I just basically said “kids these days, didn’t I?). I’m really starting to notice it with Jacob, and he’s only in first grade. He’s always telling me about something that someone else said about another kid in his class, or how someone said something about him. I thought I had a few more years to worry about this stuff, and now I’m terrified of what else I’ll have to worry about years ahead of schedule!
The Student From Zombie Island tackles the subject of starting rumors as well as basing your opinions on someone before you’ve even had a chance to meet them. In the story, the narrator is talking about all the different things he heard about “Bust-em Up Bill,” a new boy that will be starting school that day. According to the rumor mill, Bill can melt your face with his breath, beat kids up on the playground, and commit a myriad of other atrocious acts. The rumors arise from the boy’s name, after all, according to the other students, how can someone named “Bust-em Up Bill” possibly be a nice boy? As it turns out, he got his name from his amazing ability to get others to laugh, and is actually a very nice kid. Jake really liked the story and was able to repeat the message back to me at the end.
I think The Student From Zombie Island is an excellent resource for parents and teachers because it teaches children about the value of getting to know someone before making snap judgements, as well as the potentially hurtful effect of rumors. Best of all, it does this through humor and catchy verse. That alone is enough to make the book fantastic, but there is a deeper, hidden lessen to be learned if you look at the author. Michael J. Moorehead was only in Junior High when he wrote the book. I think it is a great idea to let your children know this after discussing the basic message behind the story, because it shows them that even young children can accomplish amazing things. Kids need to know that they don’t need to be a grown-up in order to start working on their goals, and that just because they’re little doesn’t mean they can’t make a great big impact on others.I highly recommend The Student From Zombie Island for any child’s library.
Note- I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. My opinions are my own.