The Girl Who Owned a City

( 76 )

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 ...

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The Girl Who Owned a City

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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?

When a plague sweeps over the earth killing everyone except children under twelve, ten-year-old Lisa organizes a group to rebuild a new way of life.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
Picture the world with no adults and only children. How will they survive? Everyone knows that in major situations someone has to take charge, but how is that person chosen, especially when it is a child? In this story, a virus killed all the adults, leaving children to fend for themselves. Lisa Nelson knows she has to take care of her 7-year-old brother, but isn't quite sure how to do so. With planning, Lisa is able to find food and provide safe places on Grand Street for children to live. However, gangs form and each battle determines who is the toughest. When Tom Logan and all of his followers decide to take away everything Lisa has accomplished and keep it as their own, Lisa know that she has to take the children to a place that no one will ever be able to find. She doubts her abilities, but knows it is truly up to her. In order to accomplish her mission she becomes almost like a dictator, which certainly made me wonder if there could have been a better way to handle the leadership role. The artwork is terrific and the details (right down to freckles) add much to the story. Often graphic novels are produced in black and white and the color used in this book added much to the artwork. Young adults, even reluctant readers, should enjoy this form of a story. It is a book that will be enjoyed by both girls and boys and is great for discussing with a friend. The book is well written, gives the reader a lot to think about, and shows how young people can honestly cope with difficult situations. The story does contain some violence. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
This is a graphic-format retelling of Nelson's 1975 novel, but it feels like a contemporary offering from the camp of postapocalyptic adventure. Ten-year-old Lisa Nelson leads all the kids in her town to find new ways to prosper after a virus kills everyone on earth over the age of thirteen. Quick-thinking Lisa is the only one who thinks to gather fruits, vegetables, and medical supplies while the rest of the world gorges on candy. Soon the world is amok with thieves, looters, and goons, like the Chidester Gang, who bully and steal from the starving and the weak. Lisa takes groups under her wing, first forming her own town and eventually moving into a former high school (her eponymous "city") complex to develop a whole new society, fending off the warlike advances of would-be marauders. Nelson's original story could have been a precursor to the popular graphic novel series and now TV show The Walking Dead, minus the zombies. Despite the age of the original source material, everything feels fresh, even if precocious Lisa sounds like she has been reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged while she promotes hard work and grapples with the occasional dissenter. (Apparently Nelson subscribes to Rand's objectivist philosophy.) Whether the fantasy of rebuilding a grown-up-less society balances out the rhetoric or not, Jones's gorgeous illustrations will suck readers in. It is an overall engaging story that could spark some lively debate over the true meaning of sharing and leadership. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
Children's Literature - Paula Demichele
Time: 20th century. Place: Planet Earth. Crisis: a catastrophic virus has sweept the world and killed everyone EXCEPT children under twelve. This is the world drawn by O.T. Nelson. How do children survive in a town with no adults to feed, clothe and protect them? Lisa, her brother Todd and their friends must choose between forming a gang of their own, or finding creative ways to build a "kingdom of happiness." Together they take over an empty school building and make it impregnable to gangs, grow their own food, teach classes for younger children, learn to weld. When Lisa is wounded by a gang leader who wants her position, everything seems lost-but is it? Nelson gives us an eye-opening look at the toughness and clear sight of young children adults see as needing their protection to survive. A teaching guide is available. 1995 (orig.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761356349
  • Publisher: Graphic Universe
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012
  • Pages: 125
  • Sales rank: 623,351
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: GN420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

O. T. Nelson originally wrote The Girl Who Owned a City in 1975. Since then the novel has sold more than 200,000 copies in many editions. He wrote the book because he wanted kids "to realize that they are important and that they have the ability to think and make a difference." O. T. Nelson lives in Minnesota with his wife.

Joëlle Jones launched her artistic career in 2006. Among her varied projects are the illustrations for three titles by Jamie S. Rich—12 Reasons Why I Love Her, You Have Killed Me, and Spell Checkers; the comic-book spinoff of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog; the Iron Man story in Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man #150 by Brian Michael Bendis; and Janet Evanovich's bestselling graphic novel Troublemaker. She lives in Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 76 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(64)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    CRAZY idea that made you really think

    It's like a Zombie book with live people almost. Coolest book I read as a kid. Even in high school I would pick up the book and read it though. just a really great fun and inventive book. Make you wan to read the whole thing

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2008

    Severly Underestimated!!!!

    The Girl Who Owned a City should be compulsory literature in every classroom. Thought-provoking, fascinating, and inspiring, it remains one of the most underestimated piece of literature for young children that exists. Initially, when read, you may find yourself either instantly enthralled or equally repulsed. This is a normal reaction to the unusual critical stimulation within this novel, and subseqently compounds the novel's power.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Will Lisa Survive

    The Girl Who Owned a City Book Review by class 315 If you are the type of person who could survive on a terrifying planet, then you are the right of person to read The Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson. The Girl Who Owned a City is about kids who are 11 years old and younger. Lisa is only 11 years old and she is the captain of every child on Grand Avenue. Lisa protects every child because a virus killed every person 12 and over. Lisa is very brave. She is learning how to drive, so she could find food for the kids on Grand Avenue. Lisa also needs to find food and be brave because she needs to take care of her brother Todd. Lisa is also trying to teach at least 6 kids on Grand Avenue, too. She is teaching them, so they could find factories, farms, and grocery stores. If they do find food, they will take it with them, but if they don¿t, they will look somewhere else. I think this book is sad and mysterious, because I imagine trying to survive alone with no parents. It would be hard for a person to live there with no food. But if you do have food, then you will need to have your eyes opened because the cherester gang will break in your house and steal your food. What will happen next? What are you waiting for? Go home and read The Girl Who Owned a City.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    Never join a riot at a grocery store...

    I remember reading this in middle school and loving it. 20 years later, the thing I remember the most: If there is a disaster, skip the riot at the grocery store and head to the industrial warehouses.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    An Important Literary Contribution

    I read this book in the sixth grade and it changed the way I've read books and viewed life since. I think that all young adults should be given the chance to read this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2011

    EXCELLENT!

    This book is very good, it shows how kids will survive with out the help of adults. It is very good book for anyone to read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2006

    My opinion of this book changes every time

    As often as I've read this book, I can't decide on it. I like it, and hate it. Lisa is very human - easy to sympathize with, and also easy to hate. And where are all the dead bodies? Rotting in hospitals? They can't all be- after all, some people would've refused to go to a hospital. Yet there is no mention of the children handling bodies or worrying about finding one. Perhaps the author considered it too macabre, but kids can read eerier, more horrific, and more realistic books than most adults realize, and understand them, too. My opinion is mixed. I loved it the first time I read it, hated it the second, and my view ever since then is just that this book makes me think. And that's why I'm continually drawn back to it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    This was a great book

    I love this book! We read this in school and it was so hard to stop reading! The begining us a little scrambled but i think its great. The book is also informational. This is a great book, i recomend it to people who like adventure and who liked to entertained!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    Aamazing

    Im reading this in class aanld it is SO hard not to readd ahead..Grrre

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    BOOKS 2 READ

    Ok i read this over the summer last year........I LOVED IT! It is such a good read

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    GOOD!!

    It was great! I really enjoyed it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    great class book

    This wa a great book to use with my class. It provided text for good discussions, comparison and characterizations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2014

    Awesome

    Have loved this book forever

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Good :p

    I am reading this book in my class and it is a good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    10 stars

    I read this book a long time ago and loved by far the higjlight of my 2nd grade year. get it!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    GREAT!

    Amazing book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Wow

    It is a really eye opening book. Especially if you consider the possibilty of a viral outbreak, which is now very high.



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Lisa

    Lisa had got killed and todd was very sad and lonely about it and she had blood driping down her face all over her face it was very sad though and every body thouht she was dead but she wont dead she was alive and every one thought it was todd falt she got killed but she wont realy dead and every one was so happy when they fond out she was not dead and she told every body about the whold thing.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2008

    didactic and cliche

    Let me start by saying that I didn't finish the novel in fact, I didn't get past chapter 5. I kept thinking to myself that it would get better, but as the plot got rolling the unrealistic elements leaped out even more strongly than before. From the first page I felt the writing was less than ought to be acceptable in a published novel. (And when I saw the author's dedication to 'Lisa and Todd' I knew that one such large conceit as super-characterizing your own children would lead to many, many others.) The protagonist, Lisa, is amazingly prescient, especially in comparison to the other children. She also exhibits rather dated, contrived child-speak and emoting that many adult authors used to force from their diminutive characters on a regular basis -- after all, children are just miniture adults, right? Otherwise, they think and talk and interact like robots. The prose in general felt stilted, and the author was way too eager to spout his philosphy. Unfortunately, he does it rather clumsily. (Don't compare yourself to the American founders and then set yourself up as a benevolent dictator.) There are a number of very well-written post-apocalyptic young adult and juvenile novels that are far more worth your time than this one.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    review of the book

    This book was so great from the beginning to the end. It was a book that I just couldn't put down. I absolutely loved it. It was always and enjoyment to pick the book up and read the way the world could be without adults. I especially loved to imagine myself as a child that has gone through this struggle of survival. The part when Lisa is shot and the gang considers her 'dead' I thought that the rest of the story would be about Tod. The only question I have was when will the sequel come out? The way they left the story of the King of Chicago was just written with sequel all over it! The book was so thrilling all the time from finding the warehouse filled with all the great supplies, then finding the new establishment for everyone at Glendale high school. I just loved the book i would recommend it to everyone who likes to read at all.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews

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