The cover illustration depicts three zombie children on a playground as a zombie girl is shown hanging onto the monkey bars.
When city kid Todd Coates moves from Queens, New York, to live on a Wisconsin farm for a year, he's in for more than just hanging out with his cousins Mila and Skipper. Strange things begin to happen all around him. But Todd is the only one who sees them. Late at night. In the cornfields. Todd is convinced there is something of the undead variety out there. Will he be able to prove it to his classmates before school is dismissed… permanently?
Todd Coates is heading on a bus from his home of Queens, New York to his Aunt and Uncle's farm in the small town of Moose Hollow, Wisconsin. He's going to stay there for a year while his parents are on a business trip. He arrives and meets up with his aunt Clara, uncle Jake, and cousins Mila and Skipper. While Mila is fairly nice, Skipper keeps playing pranks on Todd.
That night, Mila drags Todd to the cornfields for the Harvest Moon. Todd gets separated from her, and starts hearing creepy voices. When he finds her, she doesn't believe him and scolds him for getting lost. When they go inside, he tries to bring up the voices again but he can't get a word in. When he leaves to finish unpacking, he overhears Mila and Skipper arguing about something but only hears the tail end of it. Skipper comes in and apologizes for playing all those pranks on him, as he thinks Todd imagined the voices as a result of them.
Later that night, Todd has trouble falling asleep and looks outside, into the fields. He sees some bodies crawling on the ground, and notices that they are all kids. He tells the others about what he saw, but they think he was just having nightmares. The next morning, Todd goes outside to see if he can find any proof of zombie activity. He seems to find it in the form of some freshly dug holes in the ground. However, Clara and Jake tell him those are just made by raccoons.
Later that day, Mila takes Todd to meet her friend Shameka, who hits it off well with him. They take a look around her family's state of the art chicken coop, when Shameka suggests they tell him about the 5th grade class from Ann Arbor. Mila wants her to shut up about it but eventually she agrees to tell him. A few years ago, a class on a field trip stopped at Mila's farm, and were never seen again.
Todd laughs at them, thinking Mila is making it up to scare him. They swear it's true and want to say more, but they get interrupted by Shameka's mom. That Monday, Todd goes to his first day of school, where he meets a boy named Owen. Todd goes to get his backpack when he spots a strange gray bus pull into the parking lot. He sees some kids leaving the bus, looking grim and sinister. Before he can see more, the principal appears and tells him to go back to class.
Later, Todd sees a room labeled "Room 5-Z". He goes to take a peek but is stopped by Owen who says he should leave all this alone. At home, he tells his family about what he saw, but once again they tell him there's nothing going on. Clara starts acting especially secretive. Later, he takes a walk in the fields where he finds an empty school bus. He look inside the broken down dirty bus, and finds a shoe with a foot in it.
He exists the bus, but bumps into the zombie kids. One of them coughs up some bugs and points at Todd, and then they turn around to leave. He goes inside and tells Mila about it, but she just bursts into tears. During class the next day, he sneaks out to look at Room 5-Z. He ducks into his locker when he sees a pair of men enter the room with a cart labeled "Canned Meat". When they leave, he opens the door to see a bunch of zombie kids, including Mila and Shameka.
They see him and while he tries to run away, they catch him. They reveal that their story about the class was true, one day they died of unknown causes and came back as zombies. Because it's law for every kid to go to school, the school has to take them and they are kept in Room 5-Z, being fed Canned Meat so they don't eat human flesh. They didn't tell Todd the truth because they say Moose Hollow will be ruined if word gets out.
They also reveal that they are zombies too, having been turned by the zombie kids. They don't know why they don't look different but they do know that Todd knows too much and must be turned as well. Todd runs away and Skipper comes to the rescue on his electric bike. However, he just takes him back to the cornfield, revealing he is a zombie too. All the zombie kids approach him, waiting to turn him.
Todd pulls out a red lighter he got from his grandfather, thinking he can use the fire to distract them, but it doesn't work. They tell him to think about being a zombie, and that it won't hurt. Todd thinks it over, and asks if he can play harmonica in their band. They agree and Todd accepts their offer.
|Audiobook||Release date||Length||Narrated by||Published by|
|July 6, 2021||2 hours, 37 minutes||Joe Fria, Pierce Cravens||Scholastic Inc.|
- In a recent interview, Stine revealed that this whole book takes place in a cornfield.
- This book's title is similar to the title of the Ghosts of Fear Street book, I Was a Sixth-Grade Zombie.
- This is the second book to feature a character named Skipper. The first being Skipper Matthews from the original Goosebumps book Attack of the Mutant.
- The blonde boy with the glasses on the cover illustration looks similar to Jeff from the Super Nintendo video game EarthBound.
- This book references FaceTime, Hohner, Minecraft, The Twilight Zone, The Walking Dead, Hulk, the Chicago Cubs, and the iPad.
- The original book synopsis is completely different from the final release. The original plot involved zombie fans Scarlett Martenson, Ross, Annie and Owen dealing with a woman named Granny Z.
- The main protagonist is also different from the original synopsis. In the original, it was a girl named Scarlett Martenson, however in the final release, it's a boy named Todd Coates.
- Of the original four characters from the original synopsis, only the name Owen is retained in the final release.
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