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Review: Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home

Cover of Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home

Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home
Written and Illustrated by Scott Morse
Scholastic Graphix; Ages 8-12

Fraternal twin sisters Stacy and Gina, the lead characters in Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home, couldn’t be more unlike each other, but they both share their love of the game of baseball. Gina is an ace on the mound and at the plate with her team, the Knights, but Stacy’s team of misfits, the Rooks, can’t even win a game—and Stacy can barely throw a strike. Though they’re always at odds with each other, they are also both the youngest in a long line of witches, and they both want nothing to do with witchcraft on or off the mound.  In a fit of inspiration, Gina infiltrates her grandmother’s supply of magic potions and secretly creates a spell to help Stacy on the mound. Unfortunately for Stacy, something goes wrong and unleashes a zombie on the Rooks’ makeshift practice field. With a zombie on the loose, the twins as well as Stacy’s team of misfits must figure out how to work together and set things right.

Scott Morse is no slouch when it comes to telling stories. He’s had a long career as a comic book creator on the side while working as an animator and in film for Disney, Pixar, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. The story is full of heart for not just the love of the game of baseball but also the importance of loving your siblings and fixing mistakes. Stacy, Gina, and the different members of the Rooks all have distinct quirks, snappy dialogue, and hilarious scenes. If you’ve ever watched classic baseball movies such as The Sandlot and The Bad News Bears, you’ll find a lot of love for those movies as well in the book, with an added tinge of horror and magic. Morse’s art style of quick sketches with his large dialogue fonts helps bring it all together in a yarn that is pure fun. 

The back of the book also includes some concise fun facts about baseball hosted by the Rooks baseball team.

A fun mix of witchcraft, baseball, and zombies. When does baseball season begin again? I can’t wait! 

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Mike Pawuk About Mike Pawuk

Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, published by Libraries Unlimited in 2006 and is working on a followup to his book.

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