What happens when two bickering young witches unwittingly raise a baseball loving zombie from the dead? Well, when you’re a child, it’s a little bit scary, but also very fun. In Scott Morse’s new graphic novel Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home, readers are treated to an entertaining story that mixes supernatural antics and America’s favorite past time.

Little League rivals and twin sisters Stacy and Gina are always on each other’s cases. While Gina’s team has won many games thanks to her athletic ability, Stacy’s team of misfit players are left in the dust. Not only are the girls baseball fanatics but they are actually witches, as is their grandmother. However, they are not as experienced in magic as they are on the diamond. So when a zombie rises from the dead during practice, the girls need to figure out how to get rid of it before it draws unwanted attention.

Morse uses humor and his artistic style to create a fun story of supernatural teamwork. With the story taking place in a rural area, Morse uses natural tones in his scenery. Most of his backgrounds tend to blend in with various light and dark hues, drawing attention to the characters within each scene. Action is drawn out from panel to panel when the team discovers the zombie and try to evade him at every turn, while sharpening their baseball skills at the same time. Readers will not lose their way once the story reaches a climax. Overall, the story line is similar to a children’s film with a young cast ready for anything that comes their way, even if it is something scary. Morse’s cast of child characters is a diverse group, in both appearance and personality, providing hilarious moments throughout the story. The sisters create a series of conflicts that anyone with a sibling can relate to, but their teamwork and familial love is brought out when they figure out how to put the zombie to rest. Not only does the monster brings the sisters together, he also becomes a much needed tool for the down and out baseball team. With these elements put together, readers will be gladly entertained and enjoy every inch of the story.

Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home will make a great addition for both public and elementary school libraries. With funny characters, baseball action, and magical mishaps, it will intrigue readers, even those who may not be familiar with graphic novels. This book is a great choice for children in 4th-6th grades, especially those who enjoy baseball and the supernatural.

Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home
By Scott Morse
ISBN: 9781338188103
Scholastic, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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