Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Mini Review)

In an alternative Post-Reconstruction era Maryland, Jane McKeene has been taught to kill the undead. Even though slavery is outlawed, young African Americans and Native Americans are sent to finishing schools to adopt the skills to protect the wealthy. The etiquette of the table and the sharpness of the sickle.

When Jane’s friend’s sister goes missing, she feels compelled to help. Yet, even her first-in-class zombie killing skills cannot beat a complex political conspiracy that reaches across the new America. Will Jane work within the system to beat it or will she have to strike out on her own?

Dread Nation can serve as an excellent introduction to speculative fiction for YA readers, or continued reading for seasoned fans. A unique and deep exploration of race and history, paired with some excellent undead action. Highly recommended. A book I will definitely be sharing with my students.

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