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Literature / Zomboy

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Zomboy is a Middle Grade book by Richard Scrimger.

Bob Fuller is an average kid living in the town of Dresden, Ontario. He has a two friends, Gezink and Evil-O (Olive backwards), and he attends Westwood Elementary school.

Of course, things don't remain normal in Dresden for long.

One day, a new student comes to Westwood Elementary. His name is Imre Lazar. Evil-O is immediately enthusiastic to get close to him, which makes Bob take an instant disliking to Imre. Some time later, when a runaway piano is smashed against a wall, with Imre in between them, he and some other nearby kids are taken to a doctor to be looked at, and a shocking discovery is made.

Imre is technically dead.

Immediately the news becomes public, and Dresden becomes the center of a media circus. Half the town wants Imre gone, and are quite vocal about it, protesting his presence at the school. The other half is trying to make Imre feel welcome and supported during this tough time he's going through. And in the middle of it all, Bob is dealing with his own dislike of Imre, and how much time Evil-O is spending with him.

The book was released on March 25th, 2014.

Zomboy contains examples of:

  • Disproportionate Retribution: Calvin's older brother Luther's answer to being beaten by Imre in a football game, and then being called toast by Bob, is to go over to Imre's house and burn it town.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Imre's hand has a tendency to come off. It's frequently put back on with duct tape.
  • Fantastic Racism: Quite a bit of town is vehemently against Imre living in Dresden and going to Westwood Elementary School, including Calvin, Susan, and her mother.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Much of Bob's initial dislike of Imre comes from the fact that Evil-O took a rather instant liking to him.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: People try to not use the word "zombie" around Imre, feeling it's become a Fantastic Slur. Imre is quite okay using it.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Imre is a Friendly Zombie. He retains human-level intelligence, but is a slow learner due to his dead brain tissue.
  • A Rare Sentence: Calvin says one near the beginning of chapter 16.
    Calvin: I am not a piano.
  • Sdrawkcab Eman: Evil-O's real name is Olive. She decided to start going by Evil-O after she met Bob when they were young, and he started talking about how his name is the same forwards and backwards.
  • Sole Survivor: Zigzagged. Imre is the only survivor of a radiation leak that wiped out the population of his hometown, Fort Sterling. However, the radiation turned Imre into an Undead Child. That's the official story, anyway.
  • Super Strength: Imre has become incredibly strong since his zombification. One example of this is when he lifted and carried a school bus into the school's parking lot.
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: While visiting Imre's home, Bob discovers he has a swivel chair in his room. Bob and Imre spend a good amount of time playing on it, launching themselves across the upstairs hallway.
  • Title Drop: A video of Imre lifting and carrying a school bus is posted on the net under the title "Zomboy lifts bus". The term "zomboy" stuck with him from that moment.
  • Undead Child: Imre Lazar, as a result of a radiation leak that occurred in his old hometown, Fort Sterling. Also his baby sister, Kato.
  • Zombie Advocate: While one half of the townsfolk of Dresden make it no secret that they don't like Imre living among them, the other half of the town, including Bob's mom, are trying to do all they can to support him and make him feel welcome.