The Last Kids on Earth
October 13, 2015
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!
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Since The Walking Dead is still a graphic novel and show that middle grade readers know about, this is an excellent, more age-appropriate alternative to that violent franchise. Yes, monsters are killed, and zombies are targets of tennis ball throwing, but the vast majority of it is done in the name of keeping the main (non zombie!) characters safe. I love how they work together to develop weapons, have a safe home base, and obtain food, even if their diet is largely junk food. It's the zombie apocalypse-- why eat broccoli?
Really, the book recommends itself: "He flings four razor Frisbees through the air, then unloads with the explosive football launcher." (page 216) This is the perfect blend of goofy and explosive, and it's so hard to find things like this for middle grade readers! Holgate's illustrations are perfect, and it's nice to see diversity of characters on the cover.
While very different from Kloepfer's Zombie Chasers, this is an essential book for fans of that series! Heavily illustrated, with lots of zombie gore and more of a dystopian feel, readers who were sad to see the zombie apocalypse concluded will be glad to see that there is another problem-- and this time, there are monsters!
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