Book Reviews of Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah
Z for Zachariah
Author: Robert C. O'Brien
ISBN-13: 9780440999010
ISBN-10: 0440999014
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 188
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 9

3.7 stars, based on 9 ratings
Publisher: Dell Pub. Co
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book back in junior high in the early 1980s during the Regan years when it seemed the Cold War had returned in full force. This book terrified me and I still remember how chillled I felt when I finished reading it. Very thought provoking for young adults and grown adults alike.
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo.com

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 Z for Zachariah on + 22 more book reviews
Once again, a young adult book has proven thought-provoking.
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo.com

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 Z for Zachariah on + 82 more book reviews
Excellent short read. This is the tale of a young girl who finds herself alone about the nuclear holocaust. Eventually a man arrives in her valley and her troubles really begin. A haunting tale of survival.
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 294 more book reviews
a girl living alone in a valley....radiation has destroyed the rest of the world...or has it.
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 11 more book reviews
Quick read and intresting story concept. Writing was above average, too. I would reccomend.
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 35 more book reviews
great young adult story......suspenseful
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 11 more book reviews
This book is about the aftermath of nuclear disaster. Ann Burden and a scientist find each other, but Ann does not like the man. Not a favorite of mine.
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 150 more book reviews
Sixteen-year-old Anne Burden has been living alone in her family's farming valley ever since nuclear war left everything around the edges dead. She's created a quiet, calm life for herself and the animals left alive until one day she sees smoke on the horizon. A man enters the valley in a radiation-proof suit. At first Anne is cautious but then happy to no longer be alone. Soon, however, the man's sinister side starts to show.

This is a complex, thought-provoking with a surprise ending that is a bit....off-putting. Anne's buddhist-like nature is admirable, but does seem a touch unrealistic. There are many complexities in the plot that have no easy answers and keep the reader thinking. The ending came kind of out of left field for me, and I am still dissatisfied with it.

Thus, the book is a fast-paced read with important life questions. The main character makes some questionable decisions, though, and I am not entirely comfortable with the ultimate message it contains. I recommend it to fans of YA or post-apocalyptic fiction capable of taking the message with a grain of salt.

Check out my full review.
reviewed Z for Zachariah on + 29 more book reviews
Ugh! What a stupid book. The writing sucks, the story sucks, did I say it sucks? At least it was about an area I knew about..that was the only interesting part. Oh, and whoever labeled this as scifi is a huge moron.