The Girl Who Owned a City: The Graphic Novel

The Girl Who Owned a City: The Graphic Novel

5.0 2
by O. T. Nelson, Dan Jolley, Chrissy Delk
     
 

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A deadly virus killed every adult on Earth, leaving only us kids behind. My parents are gone, so I'm responsible for my little brother, Todd. I have to make sure we stay alive. Many kids are sick or starving, and fierce gangs are stealing and destroying everything they find. Lots of people have given up, but here on Grand Avenue, some of us are surviving. Because

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Overview

A deadly virus killed every adult on Earth, leaving only us kids behind. My parents are gone, so I'm responsible for my little brother, Todd. I have to make sure we stay alive. Many kids are sick or starving, and fierce gangs are stealing and destroying everything they find. Lots of people have given up, but here on Grand Avenue, some of us are surviving. Because of me.

I figured out how to give the kids on Grand Avenue food, homes, and protection against the gangs. But Tom Logan and his army are determined to take away what we've built and rule the streets themselves. How long can we keep fighting them off? We need to find another place for us to live safely. A strong place. A secret place.

In a world like this, someone has to take charge. But do I have the strength to take charge of a whole city?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the opening scene of this comics adaptation of the Nelson’s YA novel of the same name, the main character, Lisa Nelson, calls out to the owner of a home she has just broken into. She apologizes for her intrusion as she scours the house for food, but finds nothing there but dust. The opening scene says a lot about this character. All adults have been killed by a plague, leaving children to fend for themselves, but Lisa has not yet given up on basic civilities. This sensibility leads her to unite her neighborhood at a school, which they turn into the titular city. Like the original—first published in 1975—this is a fast-paced story with philosophical underpinnings, moving through time with effective montages of work and children’s drawings as the survivors attempt to create a new society. Jones’s art is colorful, bold, and lively, with sharply drawn characters. While the main conflict wraps up with an unsatisfying resolution, it’s still a powerful commentary on the ways that power breeds jealousy and war. Ages 10–up. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Just as ideologically unsettling—and patchwork—as ever, Nelson's 1975 post-apocalyptic tale gets a noir graphic adaptation. Seeing the danger in trying to live apart after a virus kills off every adult and adolescent, Lisa organizes a growing crowd of the less-aggressive surviving children into an armed militia. Declaiming dictatorially that the new community is her property because "if the city belonged to no one in particular… Everyone would just squabble all the time," she insists that it be run her way, by her autocratic rules. By the same token, when, after several increasingly violent skirmishes, the brutal Chidester Gang invades, she heroically confronts their hideously disfigured leader and through force of personality singlehandedly drives the bandits off. In the dark but sharply drawn art, Lisa's scowling, angular features amply convey hardnosed determination as she draws crowds of worshipful followers and defeats the toughs by claiming the moral high ground. Whether she merits it is a matter for discussion—but though this doesn't equal Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher's Fire-us series (not to mention Lord of the Flies) for credibility, the premise is a proven one for young audiences. (Graphic science fiction. 10-13)
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—This adaptation of O. T. Nelson's 1975 novel by the same title (Lerner) tells a story that will intrigue young readers everywhere: what would happen if all of the adults were gone? As the book opens, a mysterious virus has killed everyone over the age of 12. Lisa is foraging for supplies and bringing them home to her younger brother. When a local gang starts attacking kids for their supplies, Lisa brainstorms about how to protect what she has and how to recruit other kids on her street to form a better defense against the gangs. Eventually, she gathers the kids together, moves them into a local school, and calls the building the City of Glenbard. Much of the story is about the kids teaching one another basic survival skills like driving cars and shooting guns while the City's population grows. The characterization starts out being about the "good kids" against the gangs, but Lisa proves to be more complicated than that. In addition to the conflicts with marauding gangs, she is frequently challenged by her trusted allies because she keeps calling it my instead of our City. Jones's illustrations are shaded in brown and green earth tones and are filled with movement and life. The faces of the children are angular and interesting, looking realistically like kids who have been struggling to survive. This will be an ideal recommendation for readers looking for a dystopian story in which young people need to step up and be their own heroes.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761349037
Publisher:
Graphic Universe
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Edition description:
Library Edition
Pages:
125
Sales rank:
1,377,942
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
GN420L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 17 Years

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