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Z for Zachariah | [Robert C. O’Brien]

Z for Zachariah

Something terrible has finally happened. A nuclear holocaust has destroyed civilization. For one whole year, 16-year-old Ann Burden has lived alone on her family’s farm, somehow sheltered from the radiation in the valley. As she hears the final radio station going off the air, she believes she is the only person left alive. But when Ann sees smoke from a faraway campfire, she knows there is at least one other survivor....
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Publisher's Summary

Something terrible has finally happened. A nuclear holocaust has destroyed civilization. For one whole year, 16-year-old Ann Burden has lived alone on her family’s farm, somehow sheltered from the radiation in the valley. As she hears the final radio station going off the air, she believes she is the only person left alive. But when Ann sees smoke from a faraway campfire, she knows there is at least one other survivor. Soon an incredible figure wearing a green suit and carrying an oxygen tank appears on the road. With the intruder in her valley, she makes a chilling discovery: There are worse things than being alone.

Newbery Award-winning author Robert C. O’Brien won an Edgar Award for this suspense-filled science fiction tale of a young woman determined to survive on her own terms. Narrator Christina Moore places you on the scene with Ann in a strange world with an unknown future.

©1974 Sally Conly (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

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  •  
    Linda B Northeast USA 05-17-12
    Linda B Northeast USA 05-17-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    535
    ratings
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    575
    93
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
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    "Interesting but a bit troubling"

    This is an interesting though somewhat depressing story, though it tries to end on a hopeful note. The main character is very compelling, and easy to care for. But the scenario is strangely bleak and the situations she finds herself in are painful to experience. It is a survival story, a story of perserverance despite miserable, hopeless situation, and a strange comment on human nature in some ways.

    It is odd to class this as a kid story. I think older teens might be appropriate but I don't know if I would say it is right for anyone 13 or under. It deals with some troubling stuff - attempted rape of a young teen, a murder attempt on the same teen by an older man, etc. Not to say that kids can't take it, but it just seems a bit mature in some of its material for children, in my opinion, so parents are warned and may want to listen first.

    THe main character feels very real and human and well developed and it is easy to care about her. That said, the other main character, the man who comes into her valley is a bit dispicable and frustrating and her reaction to him is at times frustrating. She has more patience and goodness and strength in her than many would, I think, though it is hard to say as we don't live in a post apocolyptic world where almost no people are left.

    Overall, it was a sad but interesting story, and her plight was engaging and she was very likable so easy to follow... But as I said, the material is too mature for kids I think, some of the relationship is odd and frustrating and hard to understand and despite its hopeful note at the end, overall it is a bleak and sad story... Still it was entertaining and I think worth a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie L Minnesota, USA 11-12-12
    Melanie L Minnesota, USA 11-12-12 Member Since 2012

    writer

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    35
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    "Post-apocalyptic Story of Survival"
    If you could sum up Z for Zachariah in three words, what would they be?

    Invader ruins survivor's utopia.


    What other book might you compare Z for Zachariah to and why?

    Many post-apocalyptic stories of survival involve large groups of zombies, which ruins the stories for me. The conflict in this book, in contrast, is a single, human invader -- making the story more interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    How the girl lives peacefully on her own before the invader arrives.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book as a kid and loved it. Recently, I listened to it with my own kids during a long road trip. We all were riveted, while also frustrated that the invader had to shatter the girl's post-apocalyptic utopia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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