Barbara's Reviews > The Girl Who Owned a City

The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson
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Mar 03, 12

bookshelves: bullies, graphic-novels, strong-women
Read in March, 2012

Several years ago, I read the book on which this graphic novel is based. I loved the book, and was a little anxious to see how it translated into a graphic novel. But I need not have been concerned. The creators of this adaptation have done a great job, and many of the scenes are exactly the way I pictured them. A virus kills everyone older than twelve, leaving children to fend for themselves. Lisa Nelson and her younger brother are somehow managing to survive, thanks to Lisa's ability to find food and supplies. But there are gangs nearby who want what Lisa and Todd have, and they take whatever they want. Lisa first forms a neighborhood coalition that she calls Grandville, but when the alliance fails, she decides to fortify a former school where those who follow her will be safe. Everyone has jobs to do, but Lisa feels responsible for everyone in the city. While Lisa is lucky enough to escape the clutches of her enemies, the story clearly shows that all across the country, there are several pockets of youngsters who rallying others around them. This graphic novel only hints at what may lie ahead for the survivors of the virus once they turn 12--or the emotional cost of being responsible for so many other dependents. Yet, what stood out in the original story and what stands out in this adaptation is Lisa's self-reliance and her determination to help others be self-reliant. While she and her friend Craig may have very different ways of leading their lives, both seek self-reliance. The title raises many questions; for instance, what will happen when all the available supplies run out? and what happens when the society with which we are familiar is turned on its head?
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