Dylan is back, and this time he is making a movie, The Rise of the Zombie Scarecrows, with his best friend, Cory, and his girlfriend, Monica. The film is for school credit, and their plan is to film on Halloween. Everything is falling into place until Dylan and Monica encounter a zombie scarecrow that causes Mr. Dalton, a friend of Dylan’s grandmother, to have a heart attack. Dylan and Monica learn that a couple of zombie scarecrows are pranking a local neighborhood. The police shut down Dylan’s project until the pranksters are caught. But Dylan is determined to see his film through to completion, no matter what the cost.
Despite the title, readers will find this book to be a perky Halloween prank filled mystery, rather than an exploration of brain-chomping monsters. Written at a third-grade reading level, Loughead's third Orca Currents book about 15-year-old Dylan (after The Snowball Effect and Caught in the Act) finds him directing a class film project inspired by his favorite zombie flicks and his town's annual scarecrow contest. As Dylan, his pals, and his girlfriend prepare for a Halloween-night shoot, they get caught up in a real-life mystery that involves a local elderly man being spooked by, yes, zombie scarecrows. Snappy dialogue, a fun premise, and a not-too-obvious ending keep this tale moving briskly. Ages 10 14.