Dread Nation
Dread Nation

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Annotation: In an alternate America, Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, altering the course of the Civil War and ushering in a new society devoted to zombie-killing.
Catalog Number: #153278
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 451 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-257060-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-0126-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-257060-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-0126-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017943393
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
In this alternate-history horror tale, shortly after Jane McKeene was born, the dead rose and attacked the living, effectively ending the Civil War. A reunified army fought the shambling hordes until Congress passed the Negro and Native Reeducation Act, requiring adolescent children of color to train for battle. At age 14, Jane-who is mixed race-enrolled at Miss Preston-s School of Combat for Negro Girls, hoping to avoid conscription by becoming a socialite-s bodyguard. Three years later, Jane is close to earning her attendant certificate when she, her ex, and her rival stumble across a dastardly plot hatched by Baltimore-s elite. First in a duology, Ireland-s gripping novel is teeming with monsters-most of them human. Abundant action, thoughtful worldbuilding, and a brave, smart, and skillfully drawn cast entertain as Ireland (Promise of Shadows) illustrates the ignorance and immorality of racial discrimination and examines the relationship between equality and freedom. Mounting peril creates a pulse-pounding pace, hurtling readers toward a nail-biting conclusion that inspires and will leave them apprehensive about what-s to come. Ages 14-up. Agency: Donald Maass Literary. (Apr.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Fighting the undead is a breeze for Jane, but the fight for freedom? That's a different story.The Civil War is over, but mostly because the dead rose at Gettysburg—and then started rising everywhere else. Now the dangerous task of killing these shamblers rests on black people and Native Americans taken from their homes and forced into combat training schools at a young age. Jane McKeene, a black teen born to a white mother, is nearly finished with her training. She's fierce with a scythe but longs to find her way home to her mother. However, her plan is thwarted when she and her friends run afoul of a corrupt mayor and are sent to a Western outpost called Summerland. Sinister secrets lurk beneath the surface there, and the more Jane discovers, the more determined she is to escape, especially as the shamblers keep multiplying. All the classic elements of the zombie novel are present, but Ireland (Promise of Shadows, 2014, etc.) takes the genre up a notch with her deft exploration of racial oppression in this alternative Reconstruction-era America. It's no coincidence that the novel will prompt readers to make connections with today's racial climate.With a shrewd, scythe-wielding protagonist of color, Dread Nation is an exciting must-read. (Historical fiction/horror. 14-adult)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Ireland delivers a necessary, subversive, and explosive novel with her fantasy-laced alternate history. America is changed forever when the dead begin to prowl battlefields during the Civil War. The horror births a new nation and a different type of slavery, in which laws force Native and Negro children to attend combat schools and receive training to put down the dead. Jane McKeene attends Miss Preston's School for Combat in Baltimore. She studies to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette, to protect the white well-to-do. For Negro girls like Jane, it's a chance for a better life; however, as she nears the completion of her education, she longs simply to return to her Kentucky home. But when families around Baltimore go missing, Jane finds herself entangled in a conspiracy that results in a fight for her life against powerful enemies. Ireland crafts a smart, poignant, thrilling novel that does the all-important work of exploring topics of oppression, racism, and slavery, while simultaneously accomplishing so much more. It explores friendship, love, defying expectations, and carving out your own path instead of submitting to the one thrust upon you. From page one, Jane is a capable, strong heroine maneuvering through a world that is brilliant and gut-wrenching. This will take readers on a breathless ride from beginning to end.
Word Count: 104,468
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.0 / points: 17.0 / quiz: 197249 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:24.0 / quiz:Q73233
Lexile: 870L
Guided Reading Level: L

New York Times bestseller * Six starred reviews

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).


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