As Halloween approaches, zombie images and events appear. My own town is hosting a Zombie Walk tonight!
Zombies are the walking dead, beings who seem alive and yet are not, controlled by some supernatural force. Which leads us to the question, "Are zombies real?"
That's the question that children's non-fiction author Rebecca L. Johnson asks to begin her book, Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead.
In this award-winning book, Johnson tells us how fungus "invades" a fly to support itself and turns the fly into a mechanically-moving, vacant creature. Johnson also explains how parasites and worms do their work to make "zombies" out of other living beings.
Johnson's science background draws her to write about topics like this, making them interesting and accurate for young readers. Many of the zombie discoveries occurred when scientists noticed something and continued to observe. Johnson writes in her author's note for this book: "Nature has no shortage of wonders. Scientists are finding new ones all the time. Even as I finished this book, a new zombie maker was discovered that infects honeybees. Who knows how many more are out there, just waiting to be found?"
Be ever watchful and have a happy Halloween!
Here's a classic from the Kingston Trio, "Zombie Jamboree"