Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home
Twins Stacy and Gina Cavallaro are rivals on the baseball field, each pitching for a different little league team. Gina is a sports whiz and the star of her crack team, while Stacy's band of misfits hasn't won a game all season. The battling sisters also happen to be the youngest in a long line of local witches. So when Gina's magic spins out of control and her spell accidentally raises a zombie, the girls have to set aside their differences and figure out how to make everything going wrong, go right. And Stacy's team of misfits-Billy, Sanchez, Levi, Beans, Paddy, Killroy, Gomez, and Boots-must band together to save the day!
Stacy's team had been having a rough losing streak, but the zombie may just be what they need to whip the team into shape. As the two girls try to resolve their magical problems, they reconnect over their sisterly connection and ultimately love for each other.
What I loved: The illustrations in this graphic novel are great, and the dialogue bubbles are easy to follow. This is a good choice for reluctant readers. While the topic matter might seem scary, this is not your typical zombie (no brain eating- just baseballs). The book holds a lot of comedy as the kids realize they have an adult who will do what they want and try to take advantage. The ultimate message is one of family love and the strength of working together vs. against each other.
Final verdict: A solid story with great pacing and pictures makes this a middle grade graphic novel worth picking up. With ultimately good messaging, magic, and zombies combined with a hand of the comedic, this book is sure to appeal to even reluctant readers.