“Yeah I like it here. I like the people. But they’re weak. And I don’t want us to get weak too.” Carl Grimes from the AMC television show The Walking Dead is one of the toughest teen characters I have ever seen. He has grown up in a world of chaos and woe ever since he was a young lad. He has survived some of the most horrifying zombies or “walkers” as he would call them and lost his own after she gave birth to his baby sister and he had to be the one to make sure she didn’t turn into a zombie.
Carl can really take care of himself, even though he can give into his childish cravings and love for chocolate puddings every once in a while. He understands the depravity of the world that he lives in and he is never afraid to take charge in chaotic situations. His dad Rick should be proud that Carl has transitioned so well in such a wild and unruly world. Carl should be proud of himself for learning how to shoot a gun and knock out as many “walkers” as he can. Way to go Carl! If Carl walked into my library right now what books would I recommend to him? Let’s see, I think I have a few he will really like.
Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
Now I don’t really think that Carl needs this book, but I do think he would get a big kick out of reading it. He might think that some of the tips that Brooks offers would be helpful in the world that has been stricken by the zombie apocalypse.
This unique survival guide offers helpful tips such as weapons and combat techniques, places to stay safe, and how to survive a zombie-infested world. Did you know that if properly cared for the human body can be the best weapon of all? More importantly, the chapter on how the zombie virus is spread may make the average reader squeamish, but not Carl he will understand the treatment for an infected bite is usually amputation. There are also references to the different kinds of zombies like voodoo, movie zombies, and the deadly incurable virus zombies.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Not everyone loves Catcher in the Rye, but I think that Carl definitely would. He would think that Holden Caulfield is an outcast with a funny sense of humor. Carl knows about being an outcast because he tends to come on really strong and when he meets other teens he’s has a hard time connecting with them. It’s probably because he’s a gunslinging teen who has no qualms about protecting his family at all costs. Holden has an adventurous and quality that Carl would enjoy as well. Catcher in the Rye is a coming of age story that shows that as you grow up you lose your innocence and that is the main thing that Holden and Carl have in common.
Hellhole by Gina Damico
I think Carl would love this one! It’s about a geeky guy named Max who has a passion for getting dirty and digging for fossils. One day when he is digging away Max accidentally opens up a pit to hell and out pops a devil. Now that sounds just about as scary as dealing with zombies. Funny enough, the devil likes to eat junk food, play video games, and watch reality t.v. so Max feels like he has to get rid of this guy because things are going to get really bad. I think Carl would like the clever way that Max and his friend Lore work together to try and rid the world of the houseguest from Hell.
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
I bet you are thinking that Carl wouldn’t want to read a zombie story, but I think he would. Rot & Ruin has great characters like Benny Imura and his brother Tom the ninja style cool dude that takes out zombies in a zen way. Plus you know that Carl would love to hear how Benny made “carpet coats” to keep from being bitten by a zombie or how he made a horrible death smelling cologne and actually wore it to keep the zombies away. Let’s face it, Maberry came up with some great ways to survive during the zombie apocalypse.
I also think that Carl would really enjoy watching the Game of Thrones series. He totally knows what it’s like to get attached to someone only to have them to be killed off. Carl would especially like Aria Stark because she is a lot like him. She knows how to fight and is very clever and she continues to survive in a world that where everyone is trying to kill her. If Carl could get some electricity I think he would binge watch the heck out of GOT!
What books would you recommend to Carl? Share in the comments!
— Kimberli Buckley, currently reading The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds