The Last Kids on Earth (Last Kids on Earth #1)

The Last Kids on Earth
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
October 13, 2015
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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 hordes 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 the fiercest girl Jack knows, 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?

Editor review

1 review
Battling monsters is an adventure
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
This book is related to a Netflix series of the same name. The story is told by Jack Sullivan, thirteen years old and alone fighting monsters that have invaded the world. Jack narrates by speaking directly to readers so they can inform future readers about his life immediately after the onset of the Monster Apocalypse. After all, he’s a “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool”. This strategy helps draw readers into the story by making them Jack’s partner and confidante. Readers can also connect with Jack as he treats life as a video game full of quests and brave deeds. He’s even assigned himself tasks called “Feats of Apocalyptic Success”. These challenges include Mad Hatter (stealing hats off five zombies), Make it to Quint’s House Without Dying (self-explanatory), and Damsel in Distress where Jack dreams of saving his crush, June Del Toro, if she hasn’t already been turned into a zombie.
The story is accompanied by sketches of characters and monsters encountered along the way. Illustrations of Dozers, Winged Wretches, and a Blarg help to visualize the imaginary monsters that Jack names and battles as needed. Virtually every page includes pictures that augment the experience for readers who might benefit from graphic “deets”. Seeing Jack’s tree fortress and fun house, the streets teeming with zombies, and Jack’s pet monster named Rover makes these mental images clearer and more effective. The illustrations mesh with the story and often are used to replace words and narrative. This technique helps the flow and pace of the adventure so it never gets stagnant.
At its essence, the book addresses Jack’s need for family and home. He’s an orphan who’s moved to many different foster homes across the country, always moving before he can become close to anyone. Little information is given about his real parents and no one has taken the time to bond with him until he meets Quint. Quint is his best, and only, friend, and Jack is relieved when he discovers Quint isn’t dead or undead. The boys have similar interests although Quint's special interest and talent is for experimenting and inventing. Jack’s need for stability and home becomes very distinct when he’s willing to defend his treehouse against an overwhelming, formidable enemy. It’s amazing to see what he’s willing to do to protect the most stable home he’s ever known. Too bad it’s in the middle of a monster apocalypse.
What didn’t work as well:
The plot is kept simple and playful so experienced readers will probably want more depth to the story. The conflicts center on rescuing June and defeating Blarg once a for all and Jack’s hilarious antics lead to the book’s final conclusion. If you’re looking for serious literature then this book isn’t for you. If you’re looking for amusement then it’s right up your alley.
The Final Verdict:
This book will satisfy those readers looking for a fun, goofy adventure of friendship and monster-slaying. The humor of the whole situation and Jack’s determination to save June Del Toro and complete his Feats of Apocalyptic Success” will entertain everyone. I recommend you give this book a shot.
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