Staff Pick

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate (2015)

Forty-two days ago, Jack Sullivan’s life was forever changed by a gigantic, school bus-crushing monster. Now, Jack is living alone in a tree house, surviving on his wits and Girl Scout cookies, and desperately hoping to find his best friend Quint and rescue a girl named June. That is assuming they are still alive, of course. All that stands between him and certain success is, well, the horde of monsters and zombies that have taken over the town. From page one, readers are thrust into the action as Jack battles and narrowly avoids being pulverized by the monstrous Blarg while on a quest to get batteries for his walkie-talkie.

The action never lets up, and it quickly becomes clear that Jack’s life is a lot like a video game—complete with a list of achievements (aka “Feats of Apocalyptic Success”) and power-ups that appear exactly when he needs them to. Despite his outrageous swagger, Jack displays a vulnerability that will have middle schoolers rooting for him to succeed!

Like many titles, Prescott Public Library offers The Last Kids on Earth in both print and audio formats. Those who opt to read the book will appreciate the seriously clever illustrations on nearly every page. Those who choose to listen to the audiobook will be treated to a masterful narration that transports them into the story. Might I suggest you do both, simultaneously?

Review written by Amy Finston