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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
A Good Night For Shooting Zombies
by Jaco Jacobs
Age Range: 9-11
Martinís life changes the day his dad is killed in a car accident. Neither his mum, who refuses to leave the house, nor his sister, who seems only interested in her boyfriend, will talk about it. Martin nicknamed ĎCluckyí because he spends his days alone with the family chickens is something of a maths wizard solving difficult maths problems in his head to help him sleep at night.
When a neighbourís dog kills Kathleen, one of Martinís prize chickens, he goes next door to confront the owner, a boy of the same age called Vusi. Martin, little realises, that this brief encounter will change his life forever. Vusi is battling Hodgkinís disease and his dream is to make the best zombie movie ever, so he persuades Martin to help him. They are joined by Chris a feisty girl in Martinís class at school and together they go against all the odds to make Vusiís movie dream a reality.
Set in South Africa A Good Night for Shooting Zombies by author Jaco Jacobs, translated from Afrikaans by Kobus Geldenhuys, is a story about the power of friendship. Although it tackles loss, it is never too sentimental or depressing striking the perfect balance between humour and heartbreak.
This is the second novel from Jacobsís to be translated from Afrikaans after A Good Day For Climbing Trees. His superb storyteller has provided another wonderfully quirky, humorous, and heart-warming read.