There are virtually no women in Zombie Baseball Beatdown , and all the major male characters are focused on baseball, comic books, and zombie killing. The cows at Milrow's packing plant are injected with hormones, antibiotics, and zombie-ism drugs. Parents need to know that Zombie Baseball Beatdown is a fast-paced horror comedy that also addresses serious real-life issues like immigration, bigotry, food safety, and factory farming. Set in and around a meat-processing plant, the story affords plenty of gross-out and bathroom humor.
There's no sexual content or objectionable language, but there's a good deal of violence, most of it directed against zombies and depicted cartoonishly. Oddly, the main characters are never much concerned that the zombies they beat up were once their fellow townspeople. Add your rating. Baseball teammates Rabi, Miguel, and Joe know the meatpacking plant in their town makes everything smell like spoiled meat and manure.
But they aren't prepared when their mean coach turns into a flesh-chomping zombie and attacks them in the middle of a cornfield. There's definitely something nefarious happening at Milrow Meat Solutions, and Rabi and his friends set out to reveal its secrets all while avoiding immigration agents, creepy clean-up crews, bullies, and zombie cows. Rabi and his friends Miguel and Joe are well-drawn and appealing characters, and their charm goes a long way toward making the story work as well as it does. They are, however, oddly unconcerned that their neighbors are turning into shambling zombies that have to be subdued with baseball beatings.
Without it spoiling the fun, a bit more empathy might be appropriate. Families can talk about why stories about zombies have become so popular. What is it about the idea of "the walking dead" that appeals to such a wide range of readers? How safe do you think the food you eat is? What precautions should you take to ensure that what you eat is uncontaminated and healthy for you? Why is immigration such a controversial issue, particularly in the United States?
What are some arguments for reforming immigration laws? Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners. See how we rate. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.
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For Your Family Log in Sign me up. Parents' Ultimate Guide to Support our work! Want personalized picks that fit your family? The boys decide to launch a stealth investigation into the plant's dangerous practices, unknowingly discovering a greedy corporation's plot to look the other way as tainted meat is sold to thousands all over the country.
With no grownups left they can trust, Rabi and his friends will have to grab their bats to protect themselves and a few of their enemies if they want to stay alive In this inventive, fast-paced novel that strikes a pitch-perfect tone for reluctant readers, National Book Award finalist and Printz Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi effectively uses humour and high-intensity action to take on hard-hitting themes - from food safety to racism and immigration - and creates a zany, grand-slam adventure that will get kids thinking about where their food comes from.
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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 22, Jordan rated it really liked it. Yes, there are zombies, there is baseball, and there is in fact a zombie baseball beatdown so cool! Zombie Baseball Beatdown is about an Indian boy named Rabi a non-white protagonist , who lives in a small town in corn-country Iowa. A meat-packing plant supplies most of the jobs for the residents, and supplies the beef for seven neighboring states.
So, to summarize, this is a middle reader book about zombies and baseball. The only requirement is that they must have Brrrrraaaaaaaaaaiiiinnsssssssssssss!
Buy this from Powell's. Dec 26, Jeannette Mazur rated it did not like it. This was like Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" but for middle schoolers. I wish there was a 0 star option as it barely delivered on zombies and baseball. View 1 comment. Great believable story about factory farms, ICEcapades, and a diverse crew of underdogs just trying to get by.
ISBN 13: 9780316220781
Slightly less mindblowing than I wanted it to be, and I never really feel like it wowed me, but when I think about everything packed in here, and the fact that I never seriously considered not finishing it in the months that it took me to read it, I think this is a win. I mean, duh.
Factory farms are a ripe setting for horror - more people should do this! Staff Pick Rabi, Miguel, and Joe know something weird is going on at the local meatpacking plant, and they're determined to find out what. Especially after their baseball coach tries to eat their brains. This book goes beyond your standard zombie apocalypse story to touch on issues of immigration, corporate greed, and just what goes into the food we eat. I highly recommend it. Oct 12, Jill rated it really liked it.
It needs to appeal to such a narrow niche in such a narrow way, and the author has to be able to come up with just the right blend of silly and grown-up for that very volatile age group. Paolo Bacigalupi manages to get it just right. His hero is year old Rabindranath Chatterjee-Jones, called Rabi by his friends, who lives in a company town dominated by Milrow Meat Solutions, a processing plant making beef to feed people in seven states. Miguel now lives with his aunt and uncle, who also work at the plant.
The feed has become toxic from all the additives and chemicals given to the cows to increase production, and suddenly, some of them have turned into zombies. Moreover, anyone who gets bitten is turned into a zombie as well. Can the boys stop them in time, and save the world from zombie-dom?
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Discussion: Bacigalupi takes some subjects bound to appeal to kids, like little league baseball, comic books, bullying, fitting in, determining right from wrong, and zombies, and puts them into a political and social context so that the book is not only entertaining, but educational. Moreover, his hero cleverly employs and teaches the other kids about an Aesopian rhetorical strategy to get around censorship: in this case, to subvert the legal strictures against exposing wrongdoing by the local meatpacking plant.
And I lovehow he teaches kids about some very current and important issues such as immigration policy and genetically modified food in ways that never seemed forced.
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But he also weaves in a theme important to his other books: what makes you human, and what makes you a monster, and how can you choose to be the former rather than the latter? Zombie Baseball Beatdown , as its title implies, is about zombies being beat down with baseball bats, but it's also about the meatpacking industry, and it's also about immigration policy, and it's also about racism, and this is a middle-grade book, so way to go, Paolo Bacigalupi.
Rabindranath Chatterjee-Jones, as his name implies, is half-Indian half-Bengali, specifically , and that was a huge draw for me, as I rarely see Indian protagonists in fiction, let alone a middle-grade book. His name doe Zombie Baseball Beatdown , as its title implies, is about zombies being beat down with baseball bats, but it's also about the meatpacking industry, and it's also about immigration policy, and it's also about racism, and this is a middle-grade book, so way to go, Paolo Bacigalupi. His name does get shortened to the more palatable "Rabi," though; on the one hand it would have been cool to see the full, more obviously non-American name over and over, and on the other hand, it makes perfect sense that a kid with a name like Rabindranath living in America would go by Rabi.
His best friend Miguel is Mexican, living with his aunt and uncle after his parents were deported. Their friend Joe is a clean-cut, white American boy. This central trio is fun and likable, each with distinct personalities. Sadly, this central trio is all boys, as are all the other members of the baseball team.
There is literally one girl in the book and she's on the page for about two paragraphs. She's a cool girl, but I mean zombie cows. Surprisingly, the book isn't as packed full of zombie action as I expected; it mostly follows the kids as they try to break the story. And try to teach a racist bully a lesson about acceptance. The climax, however, gloriously lives up to the promise of the title.
Zombie Baseball Beatdown is a quick read, and I enjoyed the characters, especially the nerdy references to Transmetropolitan and Left 4 Dead. I appreciated the portrayals of Rabi and Miguel and Bacigalupi's refusal to sugarcoat the actual racism kids like them do experience; their stories do make the book more interesting than if this were just about three white Iowa kids. And while I was drawn to Rabi initially, it's Miguel who makes this book, as his conflict is central to the story.
Overall, the book doesn't take itself too seriously, except when it needs to, when it's about the characters and their development. I don't care about baseball, but I do care about zombies being beat down with baseball bats, and this book has it. Apr 25, readknitread rated it did not like it Shelves: ya-zombie , ya-bullies , ya-sci-fi , ya-celebrate-diversity. Cover is misleading.
One thinks the book is going to be about fighting zombies for most of the book. But really there is one zombie fight scene in the beginning then another at the end. The rest is filler about animal food production, immigration issues and reinforcing stereotypes. I can get past that a cover that is misleading because a lot of covers have little to do with book content.
But my main problem was the huge amount of racism and the underlying theme that all Hispanics are undocumente Cover is misleading. But my main problem was the huge amount of racism and the underlying theme that all Hispanics are undocumented and that Americans are all white. Rabi gets called a "red dot" throughout this book. He starts off saying that he is American and that Americans come in all shades. He was born here and is just as much American as any kid who was born in the USA.
But then as the book continues he starts telling his friend Joe that Joe looks American and Americans only have blond hair and blue eyes. And that he will never be as American as Joe. It would have been nice if he stayed true to his first message. Miguel starts off stating that he was born here and is just as much of an American as Joe.
His parents are undocumented, his aunt and uncle are undocumented, every Hispanic at Milrow is undocumented. But it turns out Miguel is an undocumented person. So there you have it- all Hispanics, even the ones you think were born here, are really undocumented people. How's that for a message. Having fought my entire life telling people I'm not from Mexico it is frustrating that an award winning author sends this subtle message. And Miguel is a stereotype who is a Mexican who mows lawns for a living.
None of the other kids have this job, just Miguel.
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Just like all the janitorial staff mentioned are Mexicans who don't speak English. I think the author wants to call attention to immigration reform but fails. Instead lays on the stereotypes and hopes no one notices.
He does a great job convince people not to trust the USDA and to not eat beef. The Drowned Cities: Number 2 in series. Ship Breaker: Number 1 in series. Following a number of award-winning novels for younger readers, The Water Knife marks his return to adult fiction. The World According to Anna. Wheels of Terror. The Abyssinian Proof. The Camel Bookmobile. The Light of Evening. The Unfinished Novel and Other stories.