Brains for Lunch (a zombie novel in haiku?!)

illustrated by Gahan Wilson

Loeb is the zombie protagonist in this zombie novel written in haiku, and Loeb has a problem: the object of his affection, Siobhan, is a lifer (i.e. human). What to do? In scenes set around a lunch table (the menu: brains) and around the school, eyes roll and jaws drop (literally). Also featured in the cast of characters is Carl, a chupacabra (bloodsucking critter) and Mrs. Fincher, a sympathetic and seductive librarian.


“Gross-out humor and romantic tension enmesh in this clever novel told in haiku…. Holt (Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel) excels at wordplay and a surprisingly sophisticated brand of slapstick… This, mixed with the astutely observed social dynamics… and the haiku form, which is an ideal vehicle for the kind of halted observations one expects from the undead, makes this a standout choice for reluctant readers.”

starred, Publisher’s Weekly

“A funny, irreverent, and unconventional verse offering that’s sure to find wide curricular appeal.”


“Middle school poetry geeks will enjoy this funny, irreverent novel in verse.”

Library Media Connection

“This intriguing book definitely has an audience–one that appreciates, quite literally, tongue-in-cheek humor.”

School Library Journal

“The shuffle-and-stop rhythm of haiku is amusingly appropriate for the zombie narrator, and Holt’s use of language is consistently clever and playful.”

SLJ Teen

“Holt uses the creative method of haiku to support her theme, making the story short and easy for young students to grasp. The novel includes great illustrations from Gahan Wilson which add a depth of understanding to the limited words of Holt’s haikus.”


Awards and Honors

  • Highlighted on the Texas Library Association’s Annotated Lone Star Reading List for 2011
  • Starred review from publisher’s weekly
  • A School Library Journal Halloween Treat
site by websy daisy.