Kellie’s Diary Volume 1 by Thomas Jenner and Angeline Perkins is an amazing read!
There are two different versions of the book available for sale on Amazon. One is a regular novel, while the other is a graphic novel. The content is presumably the same, the only difference is that the graphic novel version features the text as if it were written by the hand of a little girl. I personally preferred the graphic novel version.
Originality – 5 of 5
The premise of this book is wholly unique! The narrator of the book is a girl in elementary school, an often overlooked demographic in the zombie apocalypse story genre. The girl, Kellie, was in class at the time of the zombie outbreak. She wrote about the slow but steady spread of what became the zombie infestation, her classmates and parents thought that the illness was a flu. I love the fact that they wrote about this largely forgotten group of people – children. Some zombie stories, graphic novels, books, and comics include children, but they aren’t usually strong players/contributors to the story line and it is very rare that their experiences make up the focus of a story.
Entertainment 5 of 5
I wasn’t expecting to care much for Kellie or want to hear her story, but the book was surprisingly entertaining.
(I say this only because I am not a big fan of kids, not because there’s an issue with the book itself.) Even if you go into this thinking it will be dull because it’s written by a third grader like I did, you’ll find that you have a surprisingly good time. There is plenty of action and character development throughout the book. (This was a pleasant surprise!!)
Writing Style 5 of 5
The book does what it sets out to do – establish a novel from the perspective of an elementary school student. Their word choice is excellent, and it’s incredibly believable. I have worked with children on their reading and writing skills when they were in the third grade and Kellie is believable. It is mentioned that she was previously bumped up a grade and then had to move back, so any elevations in her writing level are already accounted for, which definitely helps the fact checker in me.
Flow/Ease of Reading 5 of 5
Although some books written in a journal-like style are difficult to follow or read, the book is very coherent. Kellie is adamant that she wants to log every detail in her diary, so the story is incredibly easy to follow – even during chaotic moments or action sequences. Kellie writes in her journal as if she is writing a letter to someone named Barbie (the journal’s name) so she is sure to make a very thorough report of each event. (Or lack thereof.) She even goes so far as to take an inventory of food and supplies she collects!
Character/Scene Description 3 of 5
I am torn on this measure. Although there was not a significant amount of character or scene description, Kellie does effectively describe the zombies for the most part and does give a slight impression of what her family and some of the other important players in the story are like. However, due to the nature of the book and its intention (a diary meant for Kellie to read later) I don’t think that a lack of detailed description is a detriment. Plus, we have to remember that Kellie is a third grader. She isn’t as apt to describe her surroundings or what her parents look like without some sort of prompt or need.
Overall Rating: 5 of 5!
I rounded up because there is absolutely no reason that anyone with an interest in horror and zombie stories shouldn’t pick up this book. It is free on Kindle Unlimited and is a great, quick read that I can recommend 100%! Even if you aren’t a fan of kids, don’t be afraid to give this a chance. It’s remarkably good and a definite deviation from the norm that we see in the zombie fiction genre.