Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah

by Robert C. O'Brien


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Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien

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 excited and terrified, Ann soon realizes there may be worse things than being the last person on Earth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416939214
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 07/10/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 152,127
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Robert C. O’Brien was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Williams College and graduated from the University of Rochester. He was a writer and editor for Newsweek, National Geographic, and other publications. He lived in New York City and then in Washington, DC, with his wife and four children. Z for Zachariah—which is now a major motion picture starring Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor—was completed by his wife and daughter, with the help of his notes, after his death in 1973. He is also the author of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and The Silver Crown.

Table of Contents

Plot synopsis
who's who in "Z for Zachariah"
themes and images in "Z for Zachariah"
text commentary
self-test questions
self-test answers
writing an examination essay.

Customer Reviews

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Z for Zachariah 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book wasnt very good. At my age it just wasn't interesting...IT lacked excitment.It just seemed like you knew what was going to happen next. A couple of parts were ok... BUT over all it wasn't my favorite, and i wouldn't recomend it.!!
Iacobus More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book and read it because my partner had to read it for school and initially, I wanted to help. The fact is, I picked it up and couldn't put it down, took only a couple of hours. For me it was an all too possible reality for the world in which we currently live. This wasn't just zombies or overrule by vampires or something akin to that, it's fallout after biological/nuclear war. I was intrigued by the main female character and the steps she took toward her own survival. Both pro- and antagonists were well developed and you could, potentially side with either although you have more sympathy with the girl.
StoryObsessed87 More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of post apocalyptic fiction than this is a must read. I thought it was pretty realistic and I thought it to be very interesting. A bit scary to think about but nonetheless entertaining. Its a quick and easy read with a very easy story to follow.
Book_Girl_A-J-P More than 1 year ago
You must read this! This book gives a really good detail of her life. I had to read this for my english class and I had a great time reading this.
WallaWallaAli More than 1 year ago
In Z for Zachariah Ann Burden one of the main characters, gets left alone in the valley after her parents and dog disappeared to look for survivors from a nuclear war. She was left alone to take care of the cows and the chickens. A year has past since the incident and for all she knows she is the soul survivor. Faro the dog finally returned skinny and weak. Faro didn't die from radiation because he was up in the hills hiding. This all changes when John Loomis the other main character enters the valley. He then got radiation sickness for bathing in the wrong creek and fell ill. Ann Burden came to his rescue and helped him to recover. Ann Burden felt caring and not alone anymore after so long. Over the last couple of days Ann realizes how much she doesnt know anything about Loomis. Except that he had a conflict with Edward that Loomis talks about in his dream. When she finally tries to get Loomis to open up and get to know him. That all changes when when Loomis finally recovers and his true side comes out. She is then faced with harsh reality when Loomis tries to capture her and keep her held prisoner in her own home. I would recommend this book to people who like survival stories because during the whole book Ann Burden is faced with the lack of fresh food, Loomis trying to capture her, and taking care of the animals.
akamarian on LibraryThing 22 hours ago
Z for Zachariah is an compelling story. The first person narrator, Ann (through her diary), doles out information bit by bit, and it is only slowly and in fits and starts that the reader learns what has happened to the world and nearly everyone in it. The idea that Ann and Mr. Loomis may be the last people alive and the valley is possibly the last place on earth that can sustain life gives the reader a slightly claustrophobic feeling. O¿Brien¿s descriptions illustrate the valley, Ann¿s farm, the general store and church vividly. So although the situation may be confining, the details O¿Brien uses to show each distinct place in the valley makes it seem like the whole world. In this way he deftly makes the reader understand how a person¿s perspective can adjust to extraordinary circumstances. The characters are realistic; they react to an incredible situation in a way that¿s believable -- and very interesting. Young adults won¿t be able to put this book down until they¿ve found out how the situation between Ann and Mr. Loomis ends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Number of stars (1 to 5): 5 Introduction Anne Burden survived the nuclear outbreak. She is alone or is she? Description and summary of content Anne Burden survived the nuclear outbreak. Her family left her to go find human life. But never returned. There is someone else in the area. Evaluation This is a great book I would recommend this to anybody. There is always action and mystery it is a book I couldn’t turn away from. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way though the book. Conclusion This is a great book I think that people who were interested in it should defiantly read it. I thought this was a great book full of action. It has mystery, adventure, and fright.
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PattiBerteotti More than 1 year ago
My teacher read this to the class in 1977. I read it to my son in 1997, my daughter in 2002 and to another daughter in 2007. It was inspiring and thought provoking. My children loved it and I have since passed the book onto their school library. It captures the attention and imagination. I would highly recommend this book.
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logan_howze More than 1 year ago
One year after a nuclear war ends a girl named Ann Burden is living in a cave that is on the hillside of a valley, where her hometown is. The valley where she is living was somehow not affected by the radiation. She thinks that she is the only one left on earth, until one day she sees a man in a radiation suit come over the ridge into the valley. She watches him for a while until he gets sick from radiation poisoning, and she takes care of him, he tells her his name is John R. Loomis. Soon after he is feeling better John begins to go crazy, and starts watching Ann obsessively. One night he tries to rape her, so she runs away. Ann sneaks back later to try and get food, and he shoots her in the ankle and she ran for her life. Later on Ann returns and steals John's radiation suit to escape the valley. John threatens to shoot her, and then Ann remembers what John had told her about Edward while he was sick. So she reminds him of his friend Edward that he had killed, which stops him from shooting her. John tells her to go west where he had seen birds. She leaves hoping to find more people. In my opinion I think that this is a really good book. The reason I think its good is because it makes you wonder as you read. Like is there anybody alive outside the valley, what started the war, and does Ann ever find other people. Another reason I like this book is it puts you on the edge in some parts; an example is every time you find out that the smoke columns get closer, and as Ann is running from John. This was a very thrilling book that I think people should read.
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so good that I had to read it again for a second time. Books are usually boring and hard to get into for me, but this one was an adventure!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a lit cirlce this year. This is one of the worst books I have ever read in my whole life! It was good in the beginning but turned bad quickly. There was a lot of useless details,it was boring,the plot was dry and weird and the story didn't make sense half the time. It sounds good but it's not. I do not recommend it for anyone.