Dread Nation (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

There is much anticipation of this rich and clever novel, set just after the American Civil War but with a zombie apocalypse instead of real emancipation.   The narrator has been forced into training to kill zombies at what looks from the outside as a school for gentile colored girls.  She masters her craft alright, but when she realizes what the white overlords have planned for her brothers and sisters on the frontlines she must think fast.  The premise is clever and thought-provoking but make no mistake, for better or worse, at its heart this is a solid zombie novel more than it is a political one. 

— Jenny S., Publisher Rep

Reviews from the Ponderosa High School Book Club:

Dread Nation is a dystopian, historical, young adult fiction novel. Featuring an empowered, young black woman fighting zombies, racism, and bigotry who takes the world by storm in the late 1800s. I loved the strong will and dynamism of Jane McKeene. The plot was quick and engaging. This novel is an excellent choice for any reader.

Dread Nation is a beautiful work of literature that reflects the period for which it's written. Jane McKeene is 17-year-old African American that is smart, strong and beautifully written. The book engaged you and kept you wanting more, be it on her background of what is yet to come. If you love apocalyptic historical fiction, you'd enjoy this book.

Dread Nation was a well written historical fiction book, the use of language was great for it's intended purpose. Jane McKeene was quick-witted and beautifully smart for her given circumstances. If you love zombies and historical accuracy this is the book for you.

Dread Nation is in an apocalyptic setting, focused on a character by the name of Jane McKeene. She is an African American teenager who was born into a state of war against the dead. The book was great because the plot stayed moving which kept it entertaining. The main thing I enjoyed was the detail conveyed in each character and situation without becoming dull. I also liked the way in which historical fiction was expressed. One of the themes in the book is racism which is historically accurate to the period and location. I loved the irony this set up with the coexisting theme of working together and destroying division between states. Overall would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys apocalyptic reads!

Dread Nation is a nineteenth-century apocalyptic fiction novel geared towards any reader. The book features a strong, teenage female lead who fights racism and the walking dead with skill and style. This is an explosive novel with fantasy-laced alternate history. I loved this book because it is empowering for young women and has a fast-paced, exciting, adventurous plot. If you liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, you'd love Dread Nation!

— Ponderosa High School Book Club

December 1969 Indie Next List

“Dread Nation is not just a zombie story; you could have weeks of book group meetings and still be talking about it. Ireland is an author to keep your eyes on. She writes with meaning, intention, and spark. Her characters leap off the page and demand attention. In Ireland's tale, the world is crumbling, racism is making a fierce comeback (if it every really left), and you won't be able to help drawing connections to recent current events.”
— Clarissa Murphy, Papercuts JP, Boston, MA


New York Times Bestseller

At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland's stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar--a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania--derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

But there are also opportunities--and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It's a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society's expectations.

But that's not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn't pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Please note that this book has deckle edges (the edges of the paper are purposely rough).

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062570604
ISBN-10: 0062570609
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018
Pages: 464
Language: English