The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade

Caution: Read The Last Kids on Earth before proceeding with this post. I’d hate to ruin things for you…but I will.

So…thanks to students returning library books at the end of the school year, I was finally able to get my hands on The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade, book two in Max Brallier’s Last Kids on Earth series. If you read my post on book one, you know I’m a big fan of the first book, and that only solidified when I read book two. The sass continues in this latest volume as, once again, our heroes try to save themselves and the world from the monster apocalypse. (I know the premise doesn’t sound all that fun, but it totally is. Trust me.)

When last we left Jack and company, they had just defeated Blarg, an evil monster bent on killing Jack and everyone else in his path. Now, Jack, Quint, Dirk, and June are staying busy doing all sorts of heroic questing. At present, that means gathering supplies, building a bestiary (a record of all the monsters around) and evading the Wormungulous (giant worm monster) that resides at the local mall. You know…business as usual.

With the help of a mysterious man-monster named Thrull, Jack’s crew does manage to wound and evade the Wormungulous. But who is Thrull, and where did he come from? He appears to be a friendly sort, and he leads our merry band to Joe’s Pizza, which has essentially become home to a bunch of not-so-bad monsters. Nothing like the big guys who’ve been trying to kill everyone and everything. Maybe someone here can help them figure out what brought the monster apocalypse to Earth in the first place…and how to stop it from getting worse.

Speaking of worse, a strange shrieking is having an odd effect on the zombie population in town. Whenever the Shrieking sounds, all the zombies form kind of a zombie parade, they move toward the horrible sound, and they’re never seen again. (One would think this would be a good thing, but Jack knows it’s super-creepy and probably indicates that something really bad is going on. He’s right.) What’s causing the Shrieking, and what’s happening to the zombies when they reach their destination?

Jack and company are determined to answer these questions, but can they do that without putting themselves in even more danger? (Answer: No.) You see, they’ve been duped by someone close to them, someone who’s working for an evil worse than anything they’ve ever encountered, a force so big, so powerful that it could bring forth the total annihilation of Earth. (And you thought monsters and zombies were bad.)

Can Jack, Quint, June, and Dirk stop what’s is happening? Can they rescue all those poor, pitiful zombies from whatever is calling them to their doom? Can they figure out who to trust before it’s too late?


Like book one, The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade delivers a story full of action, adventure, mystery, courage, and friendship, all with a liberal dose of humor. Max Brallier’s text and Douglas Holgate’s illustrations flow seamlessly and provide the reader with a quick, amusing, engaging story that makes them eager to turn every page. Anyone who reads this book (and its predecessor) will be thirsty for more tales from this frighteningly fun world.

The next book in this series, The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King, will be out on September 26th. Based on the previous books and the synopsis on Goodreads, book three will be just as thrilling as the rest. I can hardly wait!

To learn more about The Last Kids on Earth series, visit author Max Brallier’s website.

Enjoy!

The Last Kids on Earth

My latest read, also a nominee for the 17-18 South Carolina Children’s Book Award, is so popular with my students that I had to buy a new copy and read it quickly before adding it to my library collection. After reading it myself, I can see what all the fuss is about.

The Last Kids on Earth, the first book in a series written by Max Brallier and illustrated by Douglas Holgate, is a hilariously funny look at a world that has been taken over by monsters and zombies. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound like a premise for a funny book, but it totally works here. That’s primarily because of the voice of the main character, Jack Sullivan, and the awesome illustrations peppered throughout the book. You’ll see what I mean when you give this book a whirl.

Move over, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. You’ve got some serious competition here.

Jack Sullivan didn’t set out to be an action hero, but it just can’t be helped when the world is ravaged by the monster apocalypse. Alone and on the lookout for his best friend, Jack lives in a tricked-out treehouse, and he occupies his time by completing increasingly dangerous, self-imposed challenges–or Feats of Apocalyptic Success. Anything to keep monsters, zombies, and boredom at bay.

Unfortunately for Jack (who has endured more than his share of misfortune already), he’s attracted the attention of the worst monster he’s ever encountered, a fearsome creature called Blarg. Jack’s going to require some help to defeat Blarg–if that’s even possible–so he needs Quint, his best friend and a scientific genius, more than ever. Luckily, things are about to look up a bit for Jack.

Jack eventually reunites with Quint, and the two really get to work on making their treehouse home into a true fortress. We’re talking spikes, catapults, bottle-rocket launchers, and much more. They even have a souped up vehicle called Big Mama with monster-fighting capabilities. And when they team up with Dirk, a reformed school bully, and Rover, a lovable dog-like monster, these guys may just be unstoppable. Jack may finally have what he needs to complete his ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success–rescuing June Del Toro, his longtime crush.

Jack is sure that June is still out there somewhere, a damsel is distress just waiting for him to save her. He and his crew go on a search for June in their old middle school, but they’re not exactly prepared for what they find. It seems that June doesn’t really need rescuing. (She’s saved herself, thank you very much.)

June is a warrior in her own right, and she somewhat reluctantly agrees to join forces with Jack and company…and just in the nick of time, too. The ferocious Blarg is making a beeline for Jack, and he’ll need all the help he can get to defeat this big baddie.

Will Jack and friends be able to destroy Blarg so they can get back to their regularly scheduled monster apocalypse? Stay tuned to find out!


Given that this is the first book in a series, I’m pretty sure you can guess how the action in The Last Kids on Earth turns out. Read it anyway. The humor alone makes this book worth reading, whether you can predict the ending or not.

When it comes to using this book in a classroom setting, I can see this being hugely popular as a read-aloud, especially in 4th or 5th grades, maybe even in middle school classrooms. Kids (and adults) are sure to laugh out loud, and they’ll experience a truly stellar example of a character’s voice driving a story.

I am 100% terrified of zombies, but I couldn’t get enough of this book, and I’m eager to read the second installment, The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade. (Yippee. More zombies.) If book two is anything like the first, I’m sure I’ll be highly entertained. It’s already out, and I have several new copies in the library, so I’ll read it in the near future.

According to Goodreads, there should be at least one more book in this series, The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King. It should be out on September 26th of this year. If that’s the case, I’ll make a run to the bookstore as soon as I can to get a bunch of copies for my students…and myself, of course.

If you’d like to learn more about The Last Kids on Earth, visit author Max Brallier’s website. You may also want to take a look at the book trailer below. It gives a bit more information on this book than I covered in my post. Enjoy!