________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 21. . . .February 6, 2015


Rise of the Zombie Scarecrows. (Orca Currents).

Deb Loughead.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2015.
123 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0996-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0998-7 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0999-4 (epub).

Grades 8-11 / Ages 13-16.

Review by Lacey Hall.

** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



In the next few minutes we set up the chairs in front of bushes on the lawns of two properties across from Buddy Dalton’s place, out of view of the homeowners. It was perfect. The closest streetlight was a few houses down, and there was enough of an orange glow that we’d be able to get good footage from our stakeout chairs.

“Okay,” I told Cory. “Just sit there like one of those stuffed scarecrows, and don’t move. As soon as you see anything, start shooting. Trust me, they’ll be too busy to notice when we hold up our cameras. And keep your hat down low.”

Cory nodded and sank into his chair, and I ran over to settle into mine. Then I sat shivering in the October chill, hoping this plan would work out.


Rise of the Zombie Scarecrows follows Dylan, best friend Cory and girlfriend Monica as they work on filming a movie for a school assignment. Their movie is about zombie scarecrows coming to life, and they plan to film on Halloween night. However, in the days leading up to Halloween, a zombie-scarecrow vandal begins terrorizing the neighborhood. Nicole, Dylan’s godmother and also one of the town police officers, asks Dylan not to produce their scarecrow movie in light of the recent events. Dylan, being determined to see his movie up on the big screen, sets to work with the help of his friends on secretly catching the vandal while continuing to work on what they hope to be the best horror movie ever.

      Readers will recognize Dylan and other characters from Deb Loughead’s novel, The Snowball Effect. The characters and the teen drama they face are very relatable. Loughead’s writing is easy to follow, containing simple dialogue, and the conflict introduced in the form of the vandal works well to add tension to the boys going behind Nicole’s back. Conflict within Dylan and Monica’s relationship also adds to the overall cluster of problems Dylan faces throughout the novel. Ultimately, Rise of the Zombie Scarecrows is a quick read and, while somewhat predictable, is an enjoyable story.


Lacey Hall is the assistant to the Dean of Arts at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and a recent Bachelor of Arts graduate from The University of the Fraser Valley.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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