This fresh, young-adult novel by celebrated writer Pete Kalu, Zombie XI is a multicultural tale of not just zombies, but also friendship, family, and the at times fraught world of teen relationships.
Leonard is on the bench. In the dead zone. Stuck there like a zombie. And it’s not as if his soccer team is even any good without him! They lose all the time—until lightning strikes.
When his team plays near a nuclear power plant, a weird energy passes through Leonard, and that night he is visited by zombies. During a ghostly conversation with the entire 1966 England World Cup soccer team, the players tell him that if he follows their instructions, he’ll finally make the school team and start winning. Leonard obeys and the team’s prospects surge, but at what price? What pound of flesh will the zombies demand?
This book is not just about zombies and football, it is about a boy who is growing up and wants to fit in, a boy who has his first crush and doesn’t know how to handle it, a boy who has to make a choice between football and drama and how he makes a compromise.
With an engaging narrative, compelling characters, an ever-swaying balance between humour and chills, and imagery so slick words drip off of the page, Zombie XI is a fast-paced, high-energy read for both footballers and non, with strong male and female characters, an intriguing plot and an overall imaginative story.