The Last Kids on Earth

The Last Kids on Earth

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
4
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"After a monster apocalypse hits town, average thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan builds a team of friends to help slay the eerily intelligent monster known as Blarg"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Viking, published by the Penguin Group,, 2015
ISBN: 9780670016617
Branch Call Number: J BRA
Characteristics: 225 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Holgate, Douglas - Illustrator

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The book is action-filled, fun, and very good. - Nico, age 11

JCLChrisK Dec 05, 2016

What to do when zombies and other huge horrors take over the world and you're forced to survive alone in a world of monsters? If you're 13-year-old orphan Jack Sullivan, you take an optimistic approach: "That's pretty much the plot of a video game, right?! So I said, y'know what, I'll treat life like a video game." Jack moves into and fortifies his tree house, gathers supplies, and creates a list of "Feats of Apocalyptic Success." They include challenges such as:

- Mad Hatter: Steal the hats off five zombies
- Say Cheese: Take a photo with someone you knew before they got zombified
- House Hunter: Explore 50 different abandoned houses.

"There are like 106 Feats to still be completed. And if I start running low, I just create more."

And Jack's story reads much like a video game, with breezy, witty narration, lots of action, excellently integrated illustrations, and just enough danger and tension. There's also just enough character development and understated emotion to keep things from being shallow, as Jack reflects on his isolation and works to gather missing friends--and enemies--into his tree house-dwelling team.

Definite fun, with tons of appeal.

l
LadyKatka
Nov 27, 2016

I was put off by how sexist this book is. I understand it is from the point of view of a 12 year old boy, but really, come on. We need to do a better job of teaching boys what girls are like if this is how they really think.

First of all, the (only) girl character in the book doesn't even make her entrance until page 156 of a 225 page book. Good grief.

Secondly, the main character, Jack, spends the entire time questing for her. His ultimate feat is to rescue June, because in his mind she is a damsel in distress and if he saves her she will instantly fall for his heroic charms. As damsels do right. Doesn't matter that she barely knew him before the monster apocalypse, or that all interactions with him, she made it known how annoying she found him. All that does not matter because he is the hero and she is damsel.

Thirdly, when she finally does come into the picture, she tells him that she doesn't want saving and he should go away. His response is "this does not jibe. I need more time to convince her." His tactic is to ignore her wishes, and (figuratively) twist her arm until she agrees to go with him.

Oh and lets not forget, he also gets into a fight with his best friend and ends up calling dibs on her. When his friend protests and says "That is not how girls work" Jack's response is "That is how dibs work". His best friend agrees that she is Jack's girl and is not trying to steal her. So now she is reduced to an object that you can call dibs on. Not a person with feelings, thoughts, and opinions that matter. What the deuce?

Lastly, when all of them, Jack, June, and two other boys, get into a big monster battle at the end, they all must fight for their lives. I say all of them, because all of the kids were involved in some way. After all was said and done, Jack thinks to himself "the most important thing is... I did it." He is not referring to killing the monster, he is referring to saving June, the damsel. He says "she wasn't a damsel, and didn't need rescuing, but I managed kinda do it anyway and that is cool". So in his mind, the only really really important thing is that he rescued his crush from a situation he himself created so now he is the hero who deserves the affections of said girl.

This is so wrong.

I can see many boys enjoying this book because of the monsters, guts, action, and adventure. However, if your boys are reading this book, make sure to talk to them about how to treat, respect, and think about girls as people not objects. Please.

ChristchurchLib Dec 21, 2015

"After monsters attack the town of Wakefield, 13-year-old foster kid Jack is among the few who haven't been zombified. Venturing out of his treehouse fortress, Jack uses his video gaming skills to tackle various "Feats of Apocalyptic Success," which include assembling a team of other survivors (such as his science-geek friend Quentin, middle school bully Dirk, and pet monster Rover), and rescuing his crush, June Del Toro (whether she needs rescuing or not). Blending wisecracking characters with splattering monster guts, this cartoon-illustrated series-starter is sure to drawn in fans of Paolo Bacigalupi's Zombie Baseball Beatdown." Kids' Books December 2015 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/29575c56-cb01-4690-9d64-329a1e7a716e?postId=29159bea-73e6-4eff-911f-e6d49ee806f4

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