The Last Kids on Earth books in order has zombies, monsters, and the fight for survival. It also has video games, an epic tree house, and no parents.
The post-apocalyptic setting is plucked from Max Brallier’s brain with elements of everything he loved as a kid with illustrations by Douglas Holgate bringing everything to life…or to the undead. This makes it incredibly entertaining and relatable for younger readers.
About Max Brallier
While he has now become a bestselling middle grade author, Max Brallier says that he never intended to write for a younger audience. In fact, he had been writing dark, apocalyptic fiction for an adult audience while he worked in marketing at St. Martin’s Press.
His writing wasn’t taking off, so he sought out work-for-hire jobs that ended up being activity or sticker books. Suddenly, Brallier found that he loved writing for a younger audience. He says it felt natural and honest.
That transitioned into his idea for The Last Kids on Earth series. He says that a monster-filled apocalypse was his dream when he was a pre-teen, so he brought it to life with his gang of characters: Jack, Quint, Dirk, and June.
There are monsters to be slayed, junk food to be eaten, video games to be played, and no parents in sight. It is almost every pre-teen’s dream, and Brallier turned his younger self’s dream into his modern day dream-come-true.
There were some bumps in the road along the way. The initial feedback to his idea and early iterations questioned the subject matter and dark tone. Brallier describes his world as a FUNpocalypse — a true end of the world adventure, but with humor woven throughout.
That feedback resulted in Brallier initially compromising on his idea and having the zombie apocalypse occur in an alternate dimension. This softened the harsh realities of a world in which all the parents were gone. However, the idea no longer excited Brallier and he convinced his editor to let him tell the story he really wanted to tell.
What age are The Last Kids on Earth books for?
The Last Kids on Earth books by Max Brallier are middle grade fiction, but the age range for that can vary greatly depending on the reader.
As a general rule of thumb, middle grade fiction is described as targeting eight- to twelve-year-olds with the subject matter and reading level. However, a younger reader could be reading at a more advanced level or an older reader could have a special interest in zombies, making this series a great recommendation for them.
The series does feature zombies, monsters, and fight scenes, but there is no over-the-top gore. Some of the monsters also turn out to not be as scary as they initially look.
The Last Kids on Earth Books in Order
The best way to read The Last Kids on Earth books is in publication order. While each book does contain its own adventure, the series greatly builds upon the previous installment. There will be recurring monsters and antagonists, as well as hints at where the series will go.
If you read the series out of order, then you will also run into spoilers, which might impact your overall enjoyment of the series. There are three titles below that are slightly different in tone from the other books in the series.
June’s Wild Flight and Quint and Dirk’s Hero Quest are adventures from the perspective of the titular characters. In contrast, the other main books are from Jack’s perspective. However, these books do provide big hints about the adventures to come in the next book.
The third book that is different is Thrilling Tales from the Tree House. This features six stories, each told by a member of the group, that reveal a bit more about the antagonists in the series.
- The Last Kids on Earth (2015)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade (2016)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King (2017)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond (2018)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade (2019)
- The Last Kids on Earth: June’s Wild Flight (2020)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road (2020)
- The Last Kids on Earth: Thrilling Tales from the Tree House (2021)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race (2021)
- The Last Kids on Earth: Quint and Dirk’s Hero Quest (2022)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Forbidden Fortress (2022)
- The Last Kids on Earth and the Monster Dimension (2023)
There are also two other publications by Max Brallier which are like companion books to the series. The first title is an in-universe interactive journal. The second title is a spin off from the original series in which the gang realize they’ve read every issue of their favorite comic book series and set out to create their own.
- Last Kids on Earth Survival Guide (2019)
- The Last Comics on Earth: Too Many Villains! (Expected: April 25, 2024)
How many seasons of The Last Kids on Earth are there?
In addition to being a bestselling book series, The Last Kids on Earth also has an adaptation with three seasons. The first book in the series was adapted into an animated special in September 2019 in order to set up the universe and the characters.
Then the second book was adapted into the second season in April 2020 with ten episodes. The third season came shortly after in October 2020 with another ten episodes. There was also a special short, Happy Apocalypse to You, which aired in April 2021.
The adaptation also features many popular and recognizable voices. Mark Hamill voices Bardle, Catherine O’Hara voices Skaelka, and Rosario Dawson voices Rezzoch. Meanwhile, the main gang of Jack, Quint, Dirk, and June are voiced by Nick Wolfhard, Charles Demers, Garland Whitt, and Montse Hernandez respectively.
There has been no official announcement regarding a fourth season.
A Summary of The Last Kids on Earth Books
Since the best way to read The Last Kids on Earth books is in order of publication, that is the order you will find the books in below. The summaries will describe some of the monsters and challenges that Jack, Quint, Dirk, and June face throughout the course of the series. However, there will be minor spoilers in the summaries as the series progresses, so proceed with caution.
1. The Last Kids on Earth
Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house ever since the monster apocalypse hit town. He has catapults and a moat to protect himself, along with video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew. But alone he is no match for the zombies and monsters that prowl the streets, especially not for Blarg.
So, Jack builds a team with his best friend, the former middle school bully, his loyal pet, and his crush. Together, Jack, Quint, Dirk, Rover, and June are going to slay Blarg and achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success.
2. The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade
The zombies are disappearing and while this should be a good thing, Jack is suspicious. He keeps hearing a shrieking noise that seems to be summoning the zombies. But where and for what purpose?
Jack needs to get to the bottom of this with his best friends and their pet monster Rover. But along the way they will encounter a lot more than they bargained for. Will they be able to figure out why the zombies are vanishing, before they’re next?
3. The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King
Life for Jack Sullivan has been pretty good. He lives in an incredibly cool tree fort with his best friends, plays real-life Mario Kart through town, has a bunch of monster buddies, and regularly battles zombies. Basically, his life is like a video game.
But then Jack and his friends realize that they might not be the last kids on earth after all. Everyone is excited except Jack. He thinks that once they’ve found other humans, his friends won’t stick around, so he sets out to prove that their way of life is perfect, fun, and nothing else could compare.
There is one small problem though. It’s hard to convince his friends that everything is great when the Nightmare King is hunting them…along with an ancient evil who won’t rest until Earth has been devoured.
4. The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond
It’s the first winter after the Monster Apocalypse. This means sled catapults, snowball battles, and a monstrous Christmas celebration. But their winter wonderland changes when a villainess begins hunting them…a human villainess.
When she steals Jack’s beloved monster-slaying tool, the Louisville Slicer, he vows to get it back. But it won’t be easy. That’s because Jack and his friends discover that the Louisville Slicer is part of a dark plan that threatens the whole world.
5. The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade
Even though it wasn’t easy, Jack and his friends managed to survive their first winter after the Monster Apocalypse. They also don’t waste any time springing into action against some of the nastiest monsters around. When Jack discovers that his Louisville Slicer has new, otherworldly powers, he’s thrown into epic training to find out what kind of destruction the blade can wield.
But with everything going on there is hardly any time to figure out what’s wrong with their buddy, Dirk, who’s been acting weird whenever he is around the undead. When an unexpected villain appears, will Jack and his friends be able to save themselves, and the rest of the world, from cosmic domination?
6. The Last Kids on Earth: June’s Wild Flight
Following the events of the previous novel, this adventure is from June’s point of view. As the kids are planning their next move, a threat emerges and June gets separated from her friends. She is dragged miles away to a town overgrown with monstrous vines and unknown creatures.
June must draw on all of her skills, as well as the help from some new companions, to make her way back home. However, along the way she uncovers critical information about the “Tower” that the future of the world may hinge upon…
7. The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road
Jack now wields Midnight Blade and with the help of his friends, they are furiously searching for the villainous Thrull and his skeleton army. The enemy has begun constructing a portal with the power to bring Rezzoch the Ancient, Destructor of Worlds, to our dimension: The Tower.
With the knowledge June learned on her Wild Flight, the gang does the once unthinkable and leaves Wakefield behind. They embark on an epic road trip with loud music, roadside attractions, snacks, dangerous detours, and a whole lot of zombies and monsters at every turn.
But soon they’re being pursued by a new threat. A monster they long thought dead has returned in a terrifying new form. The odds are against them, but with the future of the world depending on them, these heroes will go full throttle.
8. The Last Kids on Earth: Thrilling Tales from the Tree House
This next book tells six additional stories about the adventures of Jack, Quint, Dirk, June, Skaelka, and Globlet throughout the monster-zombie apocalypse. It will reveal the whereabouts of two villains in the lead up to the next novel.
9. The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race
Jack Sullivan’s zombie-controlling powers are growing stronger as the gang continues their road trip to the mysterious Tower to stop Rezzoch the Ancient from descending upon their world. But then they are swept up by the Mallusk, which is an enormous centipede monster with the world’s largest shopping mall on its back.
There they discover a thriving monster Mallusk City with old allies and old foes ruling the city. It’s not possible to beat them in a battle, so Jack runs for mayor of the city to beat them in an election. It all seems run of the mill until the Mallusk falls under attack, and then Jack must learn what it is to be a true leader before it’s too late.
10. The Last Kids on Earth: Quint and Dirk’s Hero Quest
June Del Toro went on her own solo adventure, and now it’s time for Quint and Dirk to do the same. The dynamic duo will encounter new monsters and embark on a post-apocalyptic quest for the ages. Similar to June’s Wild Flight, this book will include crucial details for the next book in the series.
Final thoughts on The Last Kids on Earth books in order
The Last Kids on Earth books in order are perfect for any young reader who loves adventure. The dystopian setting will ignite their imagination with zombies and monsters. Along the way, the camaraderie of this gang of friends will endear everyone as they overcome the obstacle of being the last kids on earth.