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Z for Zachariah
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Z for Zachariah

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  11,054 Ratings  ·  1,352 Reviews
Nuclear war has devastated America, except for the valley where Ann, a sixteen-year-old girl has been living alone, until a scientist in a radiation-proof suit arrives.

She is relieved to see him arrive into her valley until she realizes that he is a tyrant and she must somehow escape.
Mass Market Paperback, 249 pages
Published 1976 by Simon Pulse (first published 1974)
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Oni When Ann was a child, she learnt the alphabet with a Bible A to Z book (eg. 'A is for Adam'). At the end, there was 'Z is for Zachariah'. As Adam was…moreWhen Ann was a child, she learnt the alphabet with a Bible A to Z book (eg. 'A is for Adam'). At the end, there was 'Z is for Zachariah'. As Adam was the 1st man on Earth and was at the beginning of the book, she believed that Zachariah was the last man on Earth. She only believed this at the time when she was learning the alphabet, though.(less)
Greg Frederick I love this question - it's obviously somebody wanting to get out of reading a book for school by getting answers to their worksheet questions off the…moreI love this question - it's obviously somebody wanting to get out of reading a book for school by getting answers to their worksheet questions off the internet... lame!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Z for Zachariah was a very suspenseful book. From the moment I started it, I had a knot in my stomach. For most of my life, I lived with my fear of nuclear war and its aftermath. As a child of the 80s, I remember that Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads. Were the Soviets going to push the button, or the Americans? Either way, we'd both lose. I remember everyone in school was watching "The Day After Tomorrow," and I was afraid to watch it, but I heard all the ugly details. I inadvertently wa ...more
Jun 21, 2007 Madelyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pleasureread
This is one of those books you read when you're in middle school, but you never forget about it. In fact, I've been ceaselessly frightened of radiation poisoning every since. Sort of like my plague fears, which developed immediately after I read the first chapter of Albert Camus's The Plague. If you didn't read this then, you ought to read it now; it's really fantastic.
Deborah Markus
This is the first time I've ever been tempted to utilize that "hide review because you're a big fat blabbermouth who can't talk about a book without ruining it for others" function. But the fact is, it's important for a reader of Z For Zachariah to be surprised by the nature of the stranger who shows up. And it's almost impossible to talk about the book in any detail without giving that away. And I want to talk in detail, because I like this book but I also find it rather baffling in certain res ...more
Nov 17, 2011 Evan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Yeah. That’s how this one is going to go. The expectations were high with this one. I first discovered this book when I found out it was being made into a movie so of course I was all about getting the book read first. Especially when I realized this author also wrote one of my favorites of all time: The Secret of Nimh . Naturally I couldn’t find a copy anywhere but FINALLY! Some luck blew my way and my library came through. I started it immediately. I finished it within 24 hours. And now I’m s

Z for Zachariah was a very good post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel. It's important to note that the novel was first written and released in 1975. Keeping that time frame in mind, the way that sixteen year old Ann deals with the loss of her family and the events that follow are nothing short of amazing.

Ann, having lost her mother, father and two brothers, finds a way to not only go on, but build a life for herself at her family home in a valley that was remarkably saved from some of the fallout.
Kate McCartney
May 31, 2007 Kate McCartney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fiction
I really enjoy post-apocalyptic stories. I really liked the narrator and her ability to survive alone. But when I finished reading all I could think was I am so tired of bullying men. Tired of them in my movies, tired of them in my books, tired of them in the news and tired of them in my government.
Aug 07, 2015 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
In the Old Testament, three tales of human frailty follow the creation of the world; Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Noah and the ark. In Z for Zachariah, Robert O'Brien novelizes the end of the world with a similar set of stories; an anti-radiation suit (designed just in time for the nuclear holocaust) fills in for Noah's ark and it's inventor murders his companion and wanders in the wilderness for many years, haunted by his crime as the modern answer to Cain.

But the story opens in a valley that
Jul 24, 2015 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At our local train station there is a small bookcase where those travelling through can leave a book they've finished or simply don't want anymore, and then another commuter can pick it up and read it on their journey. It's a simple and lovely idea. After perusing the shelves in January my wife became very animated. For on those shelves was one of a book from her childhood which both terrified her and fascinated her, a book she read and read, but which she hadn't seen a copy of since she was at ...more
Sep 04, 2015 Tez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2007 Zoe rated it it was amazing
I just re-read this amazing book that I've had for a long time. The first time I read it was when I was in 4th grade because my sister had read it. I found it boring. I read it again in 7th and understood it better than I had in 4th grade. And now, for 12th grade, it's just plain awesome. It's about a girl who survives the dropping of a nuclear bomb. She thinks she's the only one left alive, but soon discovers she is not alone at all. Not only is she alone, she's in great danger. I can't say any ...more
Yz the Whyz
Aug 27, 2010 Yz the Whyz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 07, 2010 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read this book I was in sixth grade, I read it again in 2007.

Disappointed to learn Hollywood got its hands on this book and made it into a shitty movie. If you're going to read this book keep in mind there isn't a love triangle in it nor is it a love story. For the love of all that is holy, do not pick up this book thinking you're going to be reading a modern YA post-apocalyptic novel and then be all disappointed about the fact that it isn't all about sex. I swear to Iesha I'm
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Lynn Crow for

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
Lindsay Gassmann
Aug 30, 2007 Lindsay Gassmann rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody.
I read this in my 6th or 7th grade english class. It is a wonderful story about one girls struggle to survive after a tragic event. I learned that you can not count on everyone to be there for you all of the time, that you have to be independant or else you will most likely will not it if you were to lose everyone.
Cristiana de Sousa
Na informação extra deste livro, podemos saber que quando o autor faleceu não tinha terminado de escrever esta historia. Deixou algumas notas do rumo que desejava que a historia toma-se. Mais tarde, foram a mulher e uma das filhas que escreveram os últimos capítulos. Este tipo de informação pode deixar-nos um pouco reticentes ao iniciarmos a leitura. Mas devo confessar que isso nunca mostrou ser um problema. Alias eu nunca percebi que a narrativa tinha sido escrita por três pessoas diferente
Maria Espadinha
Dec 11, 2015 Maria Espadinha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adão ou Lobo Mau?

Ann, uma jovem de 16 anos que sobreviveu num vale-mini-éden a um holocausto nuclear é uma Eva sem Adão.
Um belo dia avista ao longe uma corrente de fumo que parece caminhar em direcção a si.

Virá aí o seu Adão?

Infelizmente, Não!...

Ao contrário de Ann, que se manteve mentalmente sã, o seu recente companheiro está psiquicamente afectado e em vez dum potencial Adão revelou-se mais próximo do Lobo Mau.

Depois da Sobrevivência Física, a Psicológica!
Qual delas a mais Difícil?...

Nota: Na
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Wait, this is a YA/MG book?? Definitely couldn't have figured that out from the movie (which I am loving btw).
May 29, 2009 Hollowspine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann Burden is sixteen years old, and the last person alive. She knows this because after the disaster, her family went off to search for survivors, and they never came back. Her valley is safe, somehow protected from the nuclear disaster that has wiped out the rest of the world by some sort of weather formation. And so she tills her field and keeps her house and stays alive, alone. Until he comes. When John Loomis shows up in her valley, wearing a safe suit that protects him from radiation, Ann ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 06, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it
Excellent book; the real horror of it isn't the nuclear devastation, but the feeling of being stalked and having no one around to help you get away. At first Mr. Loomis is a likeable character but he quickly takes a turn for the creepy, and that's when this book gets really intense.
José Jorge
Dec 10, 2015 José Jorge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questiono-me porque é que a capa do livro (edição portuguesa) aparecem 3 personagens, quando no livro só existem 2!
Depois fui pesquisar, e pelo que percebi o filme é bem diferente do livro!
Má escolha mesmo!
Apr 22, 2009 Alexis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of post-apocalyptic fiction
As far as Ann Burden knows, she is the last person in the world. A nuclear war destroyed everything outside of the valley she lives in. Her family leaves to look for survivors and never comes back. The few people left making radio broadcasts eventually disappear, too, with dire news from their areas. And no one comes.

Nearly a year passes, but Ann survives. She lives in the perfect place. She has her family's farm, the neighbors' general store, and a source of uncontaminated water. Beyond, every
Ann has been living alone on her family's farm for about a year. A nuclear war has killed most everyone around, and a year ago her father and everyone else (including her brother, who sneaked into the car) left to see if they could find signs of life and never came back. Then a man in a radiation-proof suit comes along. Ann hides and watches from afar, but eventually makes herself known after he get radiation poisoning and becomes ill. As time goes on, however, Ann becomes convinced that there i ...more
Feb 13, 2009 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes suspenceful books
Recommended to Hannah by: Fort Mill High School
Shelves: book-club
In this book, Ann Burden thinks she's the only one left on the planet after a huge nuclear war leaves millions of people for dead. She lives in complete solitude until, one day, she sees smoke raising into the sky. Afraid, she leaves her home and stays in a cave spying on the person coming. At first she is excited, but then she learns that there our worse things than being alone...

I thought this book was really good! I liked how it went from bad to worse in the events. I liked it because the aut
Skylar Burris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy (cathepsut)
I read this as a teenager, several times. It left a strong impression on me, I really liked it back then. I don't recall many details, but just came across a trailer for the movie they just made out of it. Sounds very interesting and I might even watch it, considering that I don't have a clear recollection of the book's ending.
I understand the desire for verisimilitude, but lengthy passages about food and crop preparation sometimes spoiled the tension-- an entertaining dystopian novel nonetheless. I'm looking forward to watching the 2015 film adaptation.
Jan 11, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hannah by: Ms. Peil
I thought that the book was pretty good. It got better the more I read. I wish it would have told more about what happened to Ann and Mr. Loomis and the end. I wanted it to keep going. I rated it with 3 stars because it was a good book but it was not that awesome!
Oct 13, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast-paced YA book on a post-nuclear war life of a 16 year old girl who really wanted to find other survivors, until she found a situation worse than being alone... I really liked this read more than I expected to.
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.:.Book Bodega.:.: May: Comment As You Read | Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien 8 15 Jun 02, 2015 09:58AM  
Grad Class of 2021: Z for Zachariah 1 1 Mar 17, 2015 12:08PM  
The Book Was Better: Z for ZACHARIAH 10 49 Feb 03, 2015 06:08AM  
BDCHS Advanced Re...: Z for Zachariah - Ariellee Villarini 1 8 Oct 16, 2014 05:50PM  
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Robert Leslie Conly (better known by his pen name, Robert C. O'Brien) was an American author and journalist for National Geographic Magazine.

For more complete information on this author, please see:
More about Robert C. O'Brien...

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