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The Girl Who Owned a City
Cover of The Girl Who Owned a City
The Girl Who Owned a City
The Graphic Novel
Borrow

A deadly virus killed every adult on Earth, leaving only the kids behind. With her parents gone, Lisa is responsible for her little brother, Todd. She has to make sure they 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 on Grand Avenue, some kids are surviving. Because of Lisa.

Lisa 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 that away and rule the streets themselves. How long can Lisa's group keep fighting them off? They need to find a place to live safely. A strong place. A secret place.

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

A deadly virus killed every adult on Earth, leaving only the kids behind. With her parents gone, Lisa is responsible for her little brother, Todd. She has to make sure they 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 on Grand Avenue, some kids are surviving. Because of Lisa.

Lisa 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 that away and rule the streets themselves. How long can Lisa's group keep fighting them off? They need to find a place to live safely. A strong place. A secret place.

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

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    always available
  • Library copies:
    always available
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.0
  • Lexile:
    420
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    1 - 3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • O. T. Nelson has said that he wrote The Girl Who Owned a City because he wanted "children to realize that they are important and that they have the ability to think and make a difference." Mr. Nelson is an artist and writer who lives in Minnesota with his wife. He has two adult children.

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books Ms. Wray - Really enjoyed the story.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 13, 2012
    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.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2012

    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

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 15, 2012
    Grades 6-9 When a virus kills off all the adults on earth, 10-year-old Lisa manages to keep herself and the other kids on her block alive by moving her charges to a nearby high school, fortifying it, stocking it with supplies, forming the children into a militia, and proclaiming the new city hers. But when Lisa is captured while defending the city from a rival street gang, will the citizens continue to recognize her as their leader when someone else takes her place? Jones' artwork effectively conveys Lisa's determination to succeed in this graphic novelization, adapted by Jolley, of Nelson's book of the same title. At times the plotting is choppy, and the book's ending is anticlimactic, but the questions of leadership and might over right will resonate with contemporary teen readers as strongly as they did in the original 1975 novel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal

    "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." —School Library Journal

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Lerner Publishing Group
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
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The Girl Who Owned a City
The Girl Who Owned a City
The Graphic Novel
O. T. Nelson
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