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Friday, October 16, 2015

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're closing out the work week with a Kids Fiction selection perfect for the reading season.  It stars a new BOOK BIRTHDAY (my congrats to the author and illustrator!) celebrant that combines the story we love with the pen and ink illustrations we never quite outgrow and delivers an adventure you won't soon forget.  So ready those zombie apocalypse survival packs, they may just come in handy as we meet today's book of choice...

Illustrated by

About the book....
The Simpsons meets The Walking Dead in this hilarious post-apocalyptic graphic novel for middle-grade readers. 

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hoards of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it? 

Told in a mixture of text and black-and-white illustration, this is the perfect book for any kid who’s ever dreamed of starring in his or her own comic book or video game. And stay tuned for the sequel, coming in Summer 2016!


Things are definitely not what they seem in this small town especially when the town's happy meal isn't FOR kids...but ACTUALLY kids!

This is the new world.  This is the time when those that survived the initial uprising of the monsters and zombies not only thrive but FIGHT BACK!  What?  You didn't think that they'd take it all lying down now did you?  There may be no adults to be found, but these guys and gal know they can still run the world....or at least their neck of the woods.  The skills they display are pretty noteworthy.  Grant it, our "leading man" Jack wasn't the most ambitious bugger at first, but give him a chance, he'll grow on you.  I must say I did enjoy his point system for tackling things  though.  He really know how to take the world as it came to him and make the best of it.  The tree house man, whew!  It was pretty great to start with but quickly moved into top-notch-how-did-you-come-up-with-that-stellar-idea territory once he bumped brainstorms with Quint and Dirk.  Oh yes, where ar emy manners?  Quint is the science geek/best friend and Dirk is the former bully turned somewhat less bully and more Konan the Barbarian (if you don't get the reference, look it'll be good for you).  Two very different people with very different skill sets and yet both utterly important at this moment time.  Why?  You'll see...and it all comes down to saving the girl (if she actually NEEDS saving that is...) and annihilating Blarg (aka the monster that wants to pay back Jack for the killer scar on his forehead).  Can they do it or will the zombie hoards and roaming monsters do them in first?  *dun dun dunnn*

So, let's see here.  Time to break out some of the favorites!  Favorite character?  Jack was definitely top notch (especially his way of narrating life as if it was a game versus the new norm) with June coming in right on his heels, but for me?  It all came back to Rover!  Yes, Rover.  No, he's not a dog...more of a monster formerly known as a dog, or at least that's my theory.  Trust me when I say that his most awesome trick is WAY better than just fetching a offense to all the fur babies reading over their pet parents' shoulders.  The other monsters and zombies will certainly make an impression, some on you, some on themselves as they try to esape, but you won't soon forget them (or the smell...ugh!).  Moving forward.  Favorite number two comes in for a landing with the inclusion of known big businesses.  It really brings the story right into your own backyard.  I mean, I live fairly close to a CVS and I was just at the local Home Depot for a Do-It-Herself project class (don't ask...but if you follow on Twitter, you already know) yesterday.  Did I see anything funny?  Well, not in the MONSTER realm of things but I certainly paid closer know, just in case I needed to make my own version of a Louisville Slicer in a hurry.  You never know when that bad boy might come in handy with all those zombies and monsters running around... (what?  Oh, those were just bad drivers....SURE, they were....)  Now the story was good, but let's not dismiss that artwork...

It's not an every page event but it is more often than not that are eyes are graced with illustrations.  They are pen and ink in design and for the most part resemble comic book art, in the best way possible.  Oh come on, you've gotta love Rover's monstery smile as he chews on a bone (from where or what I shan't say) and the reaction that Blarg has to Jack's attempt on his live is CERTAINLY noteworthy.  It brings another element to the overall experience that serves it well from cover to cover.  

To conclude, a great read for girls and boys alike.  I wasn't sure what to make of this one when it arrived in my mailbox, especially since I'm not usually a fan of zombie books, but this one isn't purely starring them and even so, the way they are included is actually pretty creative considering the usual fare.  It's not all just "mmm...brains".  I mean really, have YOU ever read about a GIANT zombie ball bend on destroying you ala Indiana Jones Temple of Doom?  I think not...and that's only the beginning.  So come for the monsters, stay for the monster-butt-kicking kids!  It's an adventure in the making with humor you never anticipated. Recommended read for Kids Fiction fans of the target age group and beyond.


About the author....

MAX BRALLIER is the author of more than twenty books and games. He writes children's books and adult books, including the pick-your-own-path adventure Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? 

Max is the creator and writer of Galactic Hot Dogs, an ongoing web serial soon to be a book series from Simon & Schuster. He writes for licensed properties including Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Uncle GrandpaThe first book in his original, middle-grade adventure series The Last Kids on Earth releases in 2015.

He is the creator and author of the Eerie Elementary series for Scholastic Books, written under the pen name JACK CHABERT. 

He is a game designer for the crazy fun virtual world Poptropica and does freelance game design for numerous online properties.

In the olden days, he worked in the marketing department at St. Martin's Press. Max lives in New York City with his wife, who is way too good for him.


Special thanks to Rachel at Penguin Young Readers for the copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the illustrator, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!


Barbara S said...

Wow this one surreading sounds exciting and since this reviewer has her thumb on the pulse of literary promise ill give it a go

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