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Book Club Kits: Rot & Ruin

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

Read an excerpt from the novel.

Discussion Questions

  • At the beginning of the novel, Benny tells Chong that everyone hates zombies. Does Benny hate the zombies more than most of the people in Mountainside? Why?

  • Why doesn’t Benny want to go into the family business with Tom? Why does Benny finally change his mind?

  • How does Benny think Tom is different from the other bounty hunters? Is Tom actually different from the other bounty hunters? How?

  • Why does Tom work as a bounty hunter?

  • Benny really idolizes Charlie Pink-Eye and the Motor City Hammer. What draws him to them? Why does Tom dislike them so much?

  • How does Benny’s first trip into the Ruin with Tom begin to change his ideas about zombies?

  • What do you think of the Zombie cards? What was their original purpose? Why do the kids in Mountainside collect them? How do they shape the public’s perception of the Zombies?

  • Who is the Lost Girl? How has she survived on her own in the Ruin for so many years?

  • Why have some people chosen to live alone in the Ruin?

  • Why does Nix want out of Mountainside so badly?

  • What is Gameland? Why doesn’t anyone other than Tom try to shut it down?

  • Why haven’t the people of Mountainside tried to expand their town, or take back some of the established towns in their area?

  • How were Benny’s memories of First Night different from what really happened?

  • Who are the “bad guys” in this story?

  • What do you think the appearance of the jet means?

  • Have you read other zombie books? How is Rot & Ruin different from typical zombie novels?

  • Will you read the next book in the series? Why or why not?