Hawk Talk

The Bookworm: Rot and Ruin

Rot-and-RuinBy: Meredith Spradling




Fifteen years after First Night, California has barely 20,000 people left and survivors do what they must to carry on. To the Imura brothers, zombies are not just flesh eating, bone crunching, mindless hollow casts of forgotten souls.

Located in California, a small town barricaded with tall fences to keep out the dead is home to Benny Imura. According to town laws, when you hit fifteen years old you must work for rations. As time starts to fade,desperat Benny Imura jumps from job to job; but he fails at being an erosion artist, and almost lets zombies in during border patrol. To avoid having his rations cut in half; Benny must follow his brother Tom into the Rot and Ruin to be a zombie killer, but little does he know about what really happens beyond the town walls.

 Viera student interviews

Rot and Ruin introduces a new type of zombie apocalypse, and it presents a fresh new angle about monsters in general. Describing her favorite character, 11th grader Kristen Brenner says, “Tom Imura is trying to do good in a bad world.”

Out of all the interviews I had, Tom Imura came out to be the favorite character, and the favorite character of Marcus Hendricks. “He believes that they are real people,” comments Marcus Hendricks, an 11th grader about Tom’s view of zombies, “and he doesn’t want to kill them ruthlessly.” Rot and Ruin describes zombies as once alive people with family, friends and a stolen life.

 Life in a zombie apocalypse

Personally, if I were in a zombie infested America, I would build a fortress full of ammo and food. My main weapon would be a katana because the noise of guns can attract zombies, but I also believe that guns work just as well. “For me, it would be a long scythe to protect myself,” says 10th grader Shannon Ryder. In a zombie infested world of lunatics, what is your plan to survive?

Author and Awards

Jonathon Mayberry is an English teacher, a comic book writer for Marvel (now owned by Disney), and the author of Rot and Ruin. He currently lives in Southampton, Pennsylvania and teaches “experimental writing for teens.” Awards won for Rot and ruins since its release in September 2010 are: 2011 Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, a finalist for the 2010 Cybils Award, and a winner for the 2011 award. It also won four of the eleven nominations it received for Melinda Awards, and those were:   “Best Plot,” “Best Character Development” for Benny, “Best First Kiss” for Benny and Nix, and “Best Literary Boyfriend” for Tom.







This entry was posted on March 15, 2013 by .
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