Episode 36: Dread Nation

Andi and Lise RAVE about the book Dread Nation by author Justina Ireland, which is billed as YA but really, EVERYBODY should read it. It’s an amazingly evocative tale of American race relations set against the backdrop of the Civil War but with a twist—zombies. Or, in the parlance of the times, “shamblers.”

From the book description:

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation 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.

The book deals with race, racial hierarchies as defined by skin color, and how a zombie apocalypse didn’t re-align race relations, but rather simply grafted them onto a new backdrop. The protagonist (Jane) is amazing and the story is well-crafted and you’re swept up in it immediately. READ THIS BOOK.

Justina Ireland’s website

Dread Nation is published by Balzar + Bray (imprint of HarperCollins)

Here’s the Amazon link

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