Booktalk: Sick by Tom Leveen


When I was looking for scary books to booktalk this month, I found an advanced readers copy of this book in the pile on my desk.  The title and the great cover illustration caught my eye, as well as the tagline “High school is full of monsters.”  When I read the back cover and saw that they were calling this book “The Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead,” I knew that I HAD to read it.

Sick is a great book to share with reluctant readers, because the story is exciting, the violence is gruesome, and the language is … shall we say … realistic to the high-school experience.  Visit Tom Leveen’s website to learn more about this book and the other novels he’s written for teens.


Brian and his friends decided to cut out of school in the middle of the day.  That’s one of the main reasons they’re still alive right now.  By the time they came back to school later that afternoon, the outbreak had already started to spread.

It started with students fighting other students.  But these were no ordinary fights.  You see, infected students were attacking healthy students.  They attacked their victims by knocking them to the ground.  Biting their arms.  Clawing their faces.  Ripping out their throats.  Some of their victims died instantly, but some of them weren’t so lucky.  Some of them became infected, and they started hunting for victims of their own.

Brian and his friends are safe, for now, in the theater department.  But Brian can’t just think about himself.  There’s his sister Mackenzie, and his ex-girlfriend Laura.  They’re somewhere in one of the school buildings.  Maybe they’re alive, and they need to be rescued.  Maybe they’re dead.  Or maybe they’re worse than dead — maybe they’ve already been infected, and they’re just waiting for someone to bite.

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