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The Zombie Zone (A to Z Mysteries) - Ron Roy My niece enjoys these A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy, so we decided to try reading a few in anticipation of Halloween.

My niece said that she enjoyed Zombie Zone and said that it was pretty scary. At first I didn't think that she was going to really care much for this story because she seemed to have a hard time tuning in. As the story grew, however, the book had her full attention and she began attempting to solve the mystery. She was paying attention to the clues, making deductions, and using logic to create various very plausible solutions to the mystery. Great brain exercise in the guise of entertainment!

We both agreed that while Zombie Zone was a good story, it wasn't nearly as good (or as scary) as The Haunted Hotel, and in *my* opinion Zombie Zone was probably the weakest of the stories we've read in this series. I thought the plot was a little thin, and frankly, I had a hard time with why the grandmother in this story would allow the children to go camping with a stranger in the gator infested bayous of Louisiana without batting an eye, but then, that's just me. This did give my niece and me the opportunity to have a refresher talk about strangers, but for the most part, I just had to let the protective adult in me take a break so my niece could just enjoy the book. These books, after all, are not written for grown ups.

As for my nephew, this book was far above his level of understanding, but I think he did enjoy it in his own way. I know he was listening to the story on and off, and he was certainly looking at the occasional pictures. I think it's good to let him hear the chapter books we read, if only to expose him to more advanced reading and more advanced words.

All in all, Zombie Zone was appropriate for my 2nd grade niece. It's at her reading and comprehension level, and as I indicated above, it was a good book to exercise her problem solving skills. But in my opinion, there are better written and more entertaining mysteries in this A to Z series.