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About the Book

At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland's stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education 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.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. 

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“This highly anticipated release is getting lauded as equal parts exciting, terrifying, and oh-so-relevant. Crackles on every page.” —Brightly

“Ireland delivers a necessary, subversive, and explosive novel with her fantasy-laced alternate history that does the all-important work of exploring topics of oppression, racism, and slavery while simultaneously accomplishing so much more. Brilliant and gut-wrenching.” —Booklist (starred review)

Abundant action, thoughtful worldbuilding, and a brave, smart, and skillfully drawn cast entertain as Ireland (Promise of Shadows) illustrates the ignorance and immorality of racial discrimination and examines the relationship between equality and freedom. Mounting peril creates a pulse-pounding pace, hurtling readers toward a nail-biting conclusion. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062570604
  • ISBN 10: 0062570609
  • Imprint: Balzer + Bray
  • On Sale: 04/03/2018
  • Pages: 464
  • List Price: 21.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
  • BISAC2: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Historical / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
  • BISAC3: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / People & Places / United States / African American

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

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