Review: The Last Kids on Earth
Friday, September 11, 2020

The Last Kids on Earth (Last Kids on Earth, #1)The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fun middle grade adventure with a quick pace, lots of action, and irreverent humor. I read it as a multi-night bedtime story with my eight year old, and she absolutely loved it and begged me to buy the next book in the series. Which I did. Not only is the story great for kids, the writing is high quality and the story line is engaging enough to keep adults entertained as well. There are also lots of fun illustrations and comic-like cut scenes.

The basic plot is that the world has been decimated by a monster-slash-zombie apocalypse, meaning not only did almost all the people turn into zombies but a collection of strange monsters also appeared. Our protagonist, a young teen named Jack, is having the time of his life. He was an orphan before the apocalypse, so he doesn't have the drama of a missing family to weigh him down, and against all odds his best friend and the girl he has a crush on have also managed to survive, so he's all set. The final character in their group is an ex-bully who provides the muscle to round out their team.

I love Jack's personality, mostly because he comes at the monster apocalypse from the direction of a video game -- which in my opinion is totally the right mindset for a teenager facing a monster apocalypse. In order to make the trials of daily survival more interesting, Jack has created a list of achievement badges he can earn by doing things like stealing the hats off five zombies, exploring fifty different abandoned houses, or taking a photo with someone he knew before they were zombified. And at the top of that list is the Ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success: To find and rescue his love interest, June Del Toro.

While none of the plot twists were particularly surprising (remember this is a middle grade book) they were entertaining and well-executed. I would absolutely recommend this book for kids 8-12 years old who like somewhat grim humor and geeky pop culture references.

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