As an avid reader of zombie books, I was very excited to get my hands on Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. However, I was completely unprepared for this engaging alt-history where the Civil War came to an end due to zombies - or shamblers as they are called in this book - rising and quickly taking over the South. The freed slaves are sent to combat training schools along with Native Americans to learn the skills needed to put the undead to rest. Two main heroines keep the action and banter going as they use scythes, guns, and sickles to deftly put the undead down. Jane McKeene, a biracial teen, and her school mate, Katherine, often mistaken for being white, struggle with racism and homesickness as they are educated at Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, but matters take an even worse turn when they accidentally stumble upon the corrupt mayor's plans and end up at a Kansas outpost called Summerland - an outpost that has many secrets the least of which is that it is in danger of being overrun by the shamblers. Differences in treatment of due to class, race, or nepotism make this a great book to discuss in book clubs or school.