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Literature / Junior High of the Dead

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Junior High of the Dead is the first book in the Junior High of the Dead series by Todd Dawson-Cooper. It has been in production since mid 2010 and is currently being released online for free reading via Figment.

Junior High of the Dead takes place June 29th, 2010 and follows Liam Kendall, a seventh grade student at Algonquin Elementary School. While carrying down boxes for his teachers, Liam and others find themselves unwillingly caught in the possible extinction of mankind, the zombie apocalypse. Barely escaping with their lives and seeking refuge from the inescapable terror, the group learns quickly that they may have to fight against themselves and others if they want to survive.


Junior High of the Dead contains examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Liam clearly mentions being mocked by other children throughout his lifetime.
  • Always Save the Girl: Liam repeatedly saves Heather from numerous zombie attacks throughout the story.
  • Anyone Can Die: Though the deaths towards the start of the book are rather predictable, shit hits the fan later on leading to some unexpected deaths.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Dylan's katana. Prior to the events of the book, Dylan has had no training in swords and only uses it twice.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Kurt who decides to stay and blow up the C4 rigged variety store after being injured. Knowing that his injury would only cause him a slower and more painful death later on.
  • Black and Gray Morality
  • Catholic Schoolgirls Rule: Heather is a former French-Immersion Catholic School student.
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  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Heather catches Liam in the nude as she rushes into the change room after him. Liam is rushing to the room to take a shower and wash off the blood of the deceased Kurt.
  • Child Prodigy: The characters of Junior High of the Dead are referenced to be this by an adult character later in the story, to which Liam corrects the character and tells them that "It's just the way twelve year olds are these days."
  • Child Soldiers: Somewhat averted considering it's the Zombie Apocalypse
  • Cue the Rain: It almost constantly rains in Junior High of the Dead, though its intensity seems to change depending on the scene.
  • Daylight Horror: Junior High of the Dead takes place entirely during daylight hours.
  • Death by Sex: Both Liam and Heather die a mere chapter after their intercourse session.
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  • Downer Ending: Kurt and Heather die. When the group finds rescue via helicopter, Liam stays behind to his fate as the city is afterwards sterilized.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: None of the main characters ever use a gun throughout the story, due to their near impossibility to find. The only two survivors seen with a gun are one of the store bandits, and the "Rooftop Survivor".
  • Ghost City: London is potrayed as this throughout Junior High of the Dead.
  • The Hero Dies: Liam.
  • Heroic Resolve Liam shows examples of this repeatedly throughout the story.
  • High-School Dance: Shortly after his first encounter with a zombie, Liam rushes into the school gymnasium which is holding a dance.
  • Hope Spot: Happens twice, first when Liam and the others head towards Edison Bell Elementary for refuge, only to find it in ruin. and later on when Liam and Heather learn they can escape the city by helicopter, however unfortunately Heather is killed directly afterwards.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The whole story contains examples of this.
  • I Can't Believe A Girl Like You Would Notice Me: Liam admits this to Heather later in the story.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Liam throughout the second chapter of Junior High of the Dead.
  • Junior High
  • Just a Kid: Liam and the others are pointed out to be such.
  • Late to the Tragedy By the time Liam and the other survivors escape Algonquin Elementary School, they find the rest of the city is already in ruin.
  • Manipulative Bastard Kevin Manson.
  • The Mourning After: Heather's death is the reason Liam chooses to stay in the zombie-infested city while the others are rescued.
  • No FEMA Response: Somewhat averted as it's mere hours into the infection.
  • Nuke 'em: Final Zombie Solution. Occurs at the end of Junior High of the Dead and is the reason Liam dies.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Junior High of the Dead features both the living and fast infected, alongside the slow mindless undead.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: Used literally. The clouds rarely break in Junior High of the Dead.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kevin delivers one of these to Liam in an attempt to break him, that nearly works.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: One of the reasons for Liam's Heroic Resolve.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Liam does this to Kevin towards the middle of the story by stabbing him almost mid-sentance.
  • Significant Reference Date Junior High of the Dead is to be released on June 29th, 2013, three years after the events of the said novel.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality Liam. Shown through his humor and smartass comments but also through his cold and rather dark emotionless side first seen when he stabs Kevin.
  • Technically Living Zombie The infected are still alive, however upon death reanimate into zombies.
  • Their First Time Liam and Heather.
  • Title Confusion Junior High of the Dead is often confused with Highschool of the Dead.
  • Title of the Dead
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness Liam stabbing Kevin without concious thought of consequences ends up leading to the death of Sara, Kurt, Heather and Liam himself.
  • Tragic Hero Liam.
  • Twist Ending Right as the survivors gain word of an evacuation by helicopter Heather is killed and Liam chooses to stay behind.
  • Undead Child Considering that the majority of the story takes place in a school.
  • What the Hell, Hero? Liam continuously suprises the survivors throughout the course of the story.
  • You Are Not Alone Mourning shortly after Heather is killed Liam is approached by Dylan and the other survivors who he had recently abandoned him.
  • Younger Than They Look Liam is mentioned as appearing older than his actual age of twelve.
  • Zombie Apocalypse


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