Author: Jaco Jacobs
Illustrator: Jim Tierney
Kindle: October 11, 2018
Paperback to be Published: March 12, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 9-11, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Martin’s life changes the day his dad is killed in a car accident. No one talks about it, his mum refuses to leave the house, and his only consolation through the sleepless nights is solving difficult maths problems. Until he forms an unlikely friendship with his neighbour Vusi who dreams of making a zombie movie. The two are plunged head first into a wild adventure, pulling everyone they know along with them. Shortlisted for the Found in Translation award, it has also since been made into a popular film in Afrikaans.
This is a short novel aimed for children ages 9-12 that they will enjoy, especially if they like stories with zombies. (Though these zombies are not real.) This story was just recently translated into English from Afrikaans and there is also a movie I would like to see.
The story takes place in South Africa and features Martin (aka Clucky) who lost his dad a couple of years ago and since then, his mother has not left the house. Martin reminded me of Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: they both have a love for numbers. There is an incident in A Good Night that deals with a chicken and through this moment Clucky meets Vusi and they become friends. Vusi is determined to make a zombie movie which the boys work secretly at along with a girl, Chris. They have many adventures and make mistakes as they film their movie.
This is a story that deals with tough topics very well: death, grief, and cancer. These issues are handled well where children will not be overcome with emotion, but understand these realities in life. I enjoyed this short novel. I wanted the kids to succeed with their movie and became attached to all our main characters: Clucky, Vusi, and Chris. I liked how everything came together at the end of the novel.
This is a well done novel and I would recommend it. There are also illustrations throughout the novel that help enhance the story. I wish I could have seen the illustrations in color, but my kindle is a paperwhite.
**Thank you to Oneworld Publications for granting me a copy via NetGalley.**