Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dead Inside: DO NOT ENTER by Lost Zombies

You are lucky to have survived this long. It is estimated that more than 75% of our population is dead or undead. It started in February as a super flu, a vaccination resistant strain that quadrupled in cases within a month.

Dead Inside: DO NOT ENTER is a collection of notes found during the zombie apocalypse. They were within a backpack found on a shot zombie. It is presumed they were collected and found by many who deemed them an important documentation of our current condition. The notes found within range from disturbing to sad to slightly amusing. One page leaves the reader haunted and the next makes him or her laugh out loud. It is a rollercoaster of a read that is sure to get any young adult interested.

Upcoming apocalypses are trending in modern culture and have been a source of interest for many generations. Many recent media has fed off this public buzz, including television shows, movies, and many books. This book also touches on the fear that still resonates today of labs developing resistant strains of a "super flu". Advances in science an technology make this a very real and scary possibility that further draws readers to this book.

Some of the topics discussed in the collection may be difficult for young readers to handle, such as a narrative of a doctor having to preform a Cesarean on a freshly bitten woman, and should be suggested with caution. It would be a difficult novel to use in a classroom, but might be good in a discussion or book club setting. It is definitely effective as a tool for reluctant readers (I read the entire thing in one sitting) and good at encouraging further reading. Its format makes it difficult to put down, a desirable characteristic for young adult readers.

The most interesting facet of this book is its collaborative nature. It started as a website which was more like a social network for the zombie obsessed. Members were asked to contribute by composing notes which could have been written by citizens of a fictional world in which zombies exist. It has expanded from there to include user-produced videos, photos and blogs. This ever-expanding community is sure to get readers interested and keep them talking after the book has been finished.


cstephens said...

The most intriguing part of your review is how the book was made. I think this would be an excellent book to teach not only for the socially relevent commentary but also to teach students about creativity. I could imaging either beginning or ending a unit on this book by having students duplicate the authors' technique. We could create a collaborative class story for each class and then share the results. I think this would be fun and insightful for the students.

BookPaige12 said...

I never thought about that but it is a great idea! I still don't think it would be very good for use in younger classrooms because of the [at times] difficult content but this activity would be perfect for high school settings. I really like the idea of having students create their own book using this method. Thanks for thinking of this!