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Z For Zachariah    by Robert C. O'Brien order for
Z For Zachariah
by Robert C. O'Brien
Order:  USA  Can
Aladdin, 1987 (1974)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Marian Powell

Ann Burden is scared. She's fifteen and all alone and now she thinks someone is coming. It's a year after the great nuclear war seemed to destroy all life outside the sheltered little valley where she and her family lived. It's a year since her family left to investigate what happened to the rest of the world and never came home.

Ann has kept the family farm going. She raises vegetables and takes care of the cows and chickens, and they in turn provide her with food. She has wondered if she's the last person left alive on the earth, but now she sees the smoke from a campfire. Someone is coming. What should she do? Should she run to meet them or run away and hide?

Something that is impressive about this book is the common sense approach Ann takes to problems. For example, she deals with the stranger at first by hiding and watching, which is a very wise approach.

Z For Zachariah is a very intense story and very good. Despite the harshness of the setting, it is a story filled with hope, and a reminder of how resourceful one person can be. Ann has to discover strength and courage and intelligence inside herself, for there's no one to help her or advise her.

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