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Paperback Z for Zachariah Book

ISBN: 1416939210

ISBN13: 9781416939214

Z for Zachariah

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Is anyone out there? Ann Burden is sixteen years old and completely alone. The world as she once knew it is gone, ravaged by a nuclear war that has taken everyone from her. For the past year, she has lived in a remote valley with no evidence of any other survivors. But the smoke from a distant campfire shatters Ann's solitude. Someone else is still alive and making his way toward the valley. Who is this man? What does he want? Can he be trusted? Both...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Good Book

Excellent story that is entertaining to a wide audience. My 30 something husband, myself, and our soon-to-be-13-year-old son all really enjoyed reading this.

Courtesy of Teens Read Too

Sixteen-year-old Ann Burden has been living on her own for a year, since the nuclear bombs turned everything surrounding her little valley into a wasteland, and her parents drove out to find other survivors... and never came back. Knowing she may be the only person left, Ann struggles with her loneliness and tends to the farm as best she can. But then a man comes over the hills in a protective suit and arrives in the valley. At first he provides Ann with welcome companionship, but as he recovers from a bout of radiation sickness, his actions become more sinister. Z FOR ZACHARIAH is an intense, heart-pounding read. From the moment Ann first sees smoke rising from beyond the valley, each development wrenches her further and further from the life she's adjusted to--seemingly for good, and then with terrible consequences. The pacing is perfect, and with the story being told through Ann's journal entries, every event feels immediate. The personal details and unflinching descriptions of life after a nuclear war make the story even more gripping. As the tension escalates, readers will find it incredibly hard to put the book down before they discover Ann's ultimate fate. While the story leaves this somewhat open-ended, Ann's ultimate victory will make them cheer. Ann is a likable narrator, with a natural voice and a well-developed personality. It's easy to sympathize with her based on her situation alone, but she is all the more admirable for refusing to give up even in the most desperate circumstances. She deals with her problems with intelligence and courage, but still has those moments of carelessness and fear that make her human. Readers will be on her side from the beginning, even as they struggle to imagine how they would feel in her place. Though her final triumph involves some loss, it's clear Ann will persevere and find a way to survive and be happy, which makes the ending satisfying. Z FOR ZACHARIAH is a story that will haunt readers long after they've put down the book. It shows both the good and the bad that can emerge from human nature in the face of catastrophe, and gives hope that even in the worst situations, there are those who will remain strong. Reviewed by: Lynn Crow

Excellent Book

I read this book in the 9th grade, and my wife and I just read it again after finding it in a box in my parents attic (26 years laters). My main reason for writing this review is to first, highly recommend it to others. It's an easy read and can be completed in no time, for those who don't like a long novel.Secondly, I'd like to comment on the review by J. R. Fredsall from Sydney, Australia, listed below. This is not a scientific novel, or a classroom science book. It is a fictional novel like many, many others. If every novel were to be 100% factual, non-fiction would not exist, and the mind would have no way to escape the world we live in. Thank goodness authors don't take Fredsall's views for granted and write all their books based on scientific facts. There is a place for scientific facts to be presented, and fiction is not one of them.And as far as Fredsall's view on the book containing anti-male events; my statements above can answer that as well.Get the book and enjoy it!

Excellent YA book, but may reveal more at later readings...

Z for Zachariah was one I wasn't that impressed by at age 10 when I first read it (or about there), but years down the road (in college) a reread completely changed my mind about this book, and about the goals O'Brien had set about to accomplish with it. I've always been a fan of O'Brien, so I can't say I had completely written the book off, but this much later reading revealed some things that I think only the most perceptive young readers are going to pick up on, which is unfortunate because it really is a book for them.Starting with the most superficial, I am probably more impressed here with O'Brien's writing than anywhere else. O'Brien purposely drenches the story in detail, allowing the reader to pause and contemplate the strangely serene post-apocolypse environment. This of course is a tool--O'Brien uses Biblical allegory throughout (for the purpose of the story, not for the purpose of the proliferation of religion), and this entire scenario with the beautiful valley that cannot be left is all too obviously a cousin to the garden of eden.This surprising immersion in the pastoral setting (of what is apparently the end of the world) is equally matched by the strong and vital voice of Ann Burdan, who like the scenery stands in sharp contrast to death--a contrast that I think sets this entire book in motion.I for one found Ann's voice is what made the book work. Through sincerity and an honest analysis of her feelings we are propelled into the heart of the story, which is not so much about nuclear bombs but about 'growing up -as- epic adventure' (Henke, Children't lit in Education, Summer 82).As a young reader, I think I only saw the surface of this story which is not in of itself very compelling--a man comes into the valley, a relationship develops, the man becomes deranged and starts hunting the girl, so the girl leaves. The story however is much more than this. It is actually all about the last two chapters. It is about Ann -not- killing Mr. Loomis. It is about Ann's evolution as she moves from a child that can only consider life in the valley to confronting the entire world--one which seems dead and hopeless. The message finally is an uplifting but difficult one which does not try to make the burden (Burdan--clever?) of growing up any less grim. Today's young people are going to be faced by a world full of 'deadness', or perhaps a world that seems to have gone insane (this premise was carried out well in the animated film Princess Mononoke, another great YA work.) It is a great effort to bring Ann's innocent voice into a world that would gladdly stomp it out, and yet Z for Zachariah leads us to believe that this is the very challenge of growing up, and makes strong argument for investing in the dreams of young people for tomorrow.

I think the book is very good and everyone should read it!

The good thing about this book is it starts out right in the action, thats what I like about books. This book starts you out in a families valley that they live in. Everything is going well when suddenly a strange green cloud peaks at the tip of the valley. The parents of Ann Burden(the main-character telling the story) tell her that they are going out of the valley and into town to see what happened. They go out but they never come back. But before they left, her brother jumped into the back of the truck without the parents knowing. The dog loves the boy so much that it runs after him and it never comes back either until the middle of the book. But while this is all going on she is getting a long all by herself when a figure keeps getting closer and closer to the valley. She investigates to find it to be a scientist who has a biochemical suit. It protects him from the radiation. She hides in a cave because she is afraid that he might do something to her. It is a very good book to read. I think the book is very good and keeps your attention. The only bad thing is that it is not a good book for someone who is not over 12 because you really can't understand some of the technical terms but thats about it.I recommend this book to any student interested in a science-fiction novel and it would interest anybody else who would be interested in what the world may very well be like in the next century. I also recommend this book to teachers because they might be interested in sharing this book with the class. It is a real mindboggler in how the plot takes you right into the story.
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