Night of the Zombie Chickens is supposed to be Kate Walden’s breakout film. But her supporting actresses???her mother’s prize organic hens???are high maintenance, to say the least. Thank goodness Kate’s best friend Alyssa is the star. She’s great at screaming and even better at killing zombies in creative ways. But when Alyssa turns into a real-life soulless zombie and ditches Kate for the most popular girl in seventh grade, Kate suddenly finds herself both friendless and starless. Now, thanks to Alyssa’s new crowd, Kate is the butt of every joke at school and consigned to the loser table at lunch. If movies have taught Kate anything, it’s that the good guy can always win???with the right script. And her fellow social outcasts may be the key to her own happy ending. Kate hatches the perfect revenge plot against her former best friend, but even though her screenplay is foolproof, Kate soon realizes that nothing???in filmmaking or in life???ever goes exactly as planned. Especially when there are diabolical hens out to get you.

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"Each of these dilemmas invites readers to consider how they would deal with similar issues in their own lives. Young teens, especially girls, will find Kate an appealing character facing problems much like their own-except, perhaps, for the zombie filmmaking. Teen guys might appreciate it as well because of the hijinks."-Donna L. Phillips—VOYA
"Throughout the story, Mata conveys Kate's exuberant enthusiasm for the filmmaking process, including Kate's relish in the special effects tactics used in zombie films and other movies. The surprise twist that provides a timely solution to Kate's dilemmas is suitably theatrical for the movie enthusiast. Preteen and middle school readers will respond to the dogged tenacity with which Kate pursues her moviemaking dreams."—(Fiction. 10-14)-Kirkus
"Zombie Chickens is an original take on friendship between girls and middle-school angst. Fans of Wendy Mass, Sharon Draper, and Rebecca Stead will appreciate this clever and quirky piece of realistic fiction."—-School Library Journal

The accessible writing style complete with middle-school crudeness ('You suck!'), the realistic conflicts with friends and family, and Kate's snappy personality should put this high up in the pecking order.

Horn Book
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Kate Walden Directs