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The Girl Who Owned a City: The Graphic Novel
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The Girl Who Owned a City: The Graphic Novel

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,537 ratings  ·  296 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 125 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Graphic Universe (first published January 1st 2012)
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Amelia Right now we are reading this book for my sixth grade english class. I have a higher reading level, so it's not really a challenge, but I would…moreRight now we are reading this book for my sixth grade english class. I have a higher reading level, so it's not really a challenge, but I would recommend this book for 10-12 year olds :)(less)
Little John This cover is for the graphic novel adaptation of the original novel's story.

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I was actually really impressed by this. A good friend of mine LOVES the original novel, but I had never had a chance to read it. When the graphic novel version came across the new book shelf at the library, I swiped it and checked it out immediately.

It's a pretty standard dystopian story (one that seems to be repeated a lot as of late, but let us remember, this one came first) -- everyone over the age of 12 is dead, and the kids have to take over.

What I really liked about this is that it read
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, speculative
Am I paranoid, or is this an extended allegory about the virtues of neoliberal bootstrapping?

Either way, it's crazy didactic, the protagonist is annoyingly self-righteous, and the art, world-building, and dialogue-as-exposition are all pretty generic. Also, how can you have a dystopian graphic novel that shows practically none of the larger landscape in the art? If this world is so horrifying, I want to see it!
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
So I am looking through the youth graphic novels at the local library (because this is where they keep adorable fairy tale books with morals and stunning visuals and Don't Judge Me, Okay)when suddenly I find myself looking at a girl with a rifle over a burning house and I have three separate thoughts.

1. This is totally B.A. with a BOLD B

2. This must have been shelved improperly

and, upon seeing that there was in fact a "Y" shelving tag for Youth GN

3. What in the Hell, Library? I don't think you
Brigid ✩
Got an ARC from NetGalley. Expected publication is in April 2012.

So, after I finished reading this, I saw on the last page that it had been based on a novel from 1975. I have not read the novel or ever heard of it, so I don't know what the similarities and differences between the original and graphic novels are. Whether the flaws in the graphic novel are in any way the fault of O.T. Nelson––the original author––I don't know.

Anyway, to briefly summarize the plot:

The Girl Who Owned a City is the
Dov Zeller
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok

I don't remember how I came across this book. It's an adaptation of a novel first published in 1975. The wiki page about it has some interesting details. Apparently it's Wilson's only book. And the book takes place in a fictionalized version of his home town.

It's possible I got this one out of the library because I was looking forward to reading a comic book with a fierce female protagonist. What I got instead was a protagonist who believes in an
If Ayn Rand rewrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a post-apocalyptic plague story, it would read something like this. I feel as thought I would have loved this if I had read it as a pre-teen, but as an adult, Lisa comes off more arrogant (and annoying) than worldly. Lisa is in dire need of some Scoobies to remind her of the importance of working together, trusting others, and to get over her own specialness.
Aubrey Byron
Feb 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Wow. What a trash heap. This is a graphic adaptation of a novel I read in middle school. What I remembered fondly was a post-apocalyptic, bad ass 11 year old girl taking charge and kicking ass. What I found upon reread was a carefully shoehorned, children’s Field guide for Libertarian philosophy and narcissism.

A sudden outbreak of a new, deadly plague takes out all the adults on the planet. The oldest living people left are 12 years old. With only children, food is scarce and street gangs form.
So, apparently if women owned cities they would turn into benevolent dictators.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I think I'm officially turning into a GN snob. A really great friend and librarian colleague of mine recently read this and loved it. I just kept seeing the flaws.

I get that this came first. That it's a dystopian tale about all the adults dying and the kids having to figure out how to survive and it stars a GIRL and the original book came out in 1975. I totally like the feel of the art. And THE
Tracy (Cornerfolds)
Read more of my reviews at!

I found The Girl Who Owned a City while searching for one more book to complete this year's graphic novel challenge. I was looking for a dystopian story and this one grabbed my attention with its amazing cover! Unfortunately, what was inside wasn't as good as I'd hoped.

The Girl Who Owned a City takes place in a world that has recently lost all of its adults. The children are left behind to fend for themselves and Lisa is no different. She and her
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I got an eGalley of this graphic novel though NetGalley(dot)com. I have never read the original work by O.T. Nelson so I can't compare to that. This was a very entertaining read though; the art was well done and I really enjoyed it.

Something horrible happened and everyone over the age of twelve died and turned into dust. Now the kids are left to survive on their own. Lisa decides to claim a building as her own and build a city for kids to come and shelter at. She organizes the city and gets it
Dannielle Nebinski (the Girl Who Owned a City)
Genre: Graphic Novel

Lisa Nelson is a 10 year old girl, who along with her little brother Todd, are trying to survive in a Chicago suburb after a deadly virus Killed everyone in the world over the age of 12. They survive by looting abandoned houses and shops. With chaos and sickness ensuing, Lisa must protect Todd and make sure that both stay alive. While kids have given up and are dying, those who live in Lisa's neighborhood are surviving, because of
Lesa Divine
I actually enjoyed this. The pictures fabulous work of art. The story nicely done. With kids just trying to survive on their own. But of course others go want what you work so hard to get in order for them to survive but Lisa the leader wouldn't give up on the kids. They depended on her a lot.
Araceli Morales
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The art style was very cool and I liked the whole concept of this graphic novel but it went by way too fast I would have liked a lot more depth in plot and a longer graphic novel but overall fun read for the first of my booktubeathon reads!
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Today I finished the book it had a plot twist and the end
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked how badass she was, but there was really no plot. :/
Josephine (biblioseph)
I've just read a review ( that mentions liberatian views being fed throughout the original book, I just didn't enjoy it much to begin with.

I did like it over all, and the art is stand out in the graphic novel adaptation (no real surprise, it's Joelle Jones) but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. If you like Joelle, go read Catwoman!
Kristin Katsuye
This graphic novel really took me by surprise. Great story, great art. It can be read by a kid and adult. Not overly juvenile while also showing good themes for kids. I didn’t realize this was an adapted book from a novel until I read the back. A lot of great work was put into this.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-mg, graphic-novels
Loved the art but didn't love the story. Feels so immature, especially with an extremely unlikable main character.
Isabella Albert
It was okay, but it isn't better than the chapter book.
Sofia Ekvall
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
nothing special
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This novel has unbelievably great artwork, the details are quite stunning with the use of shadows eye-catching.
Good foundation for a storyline. I wasn't sure where the author was taking me, down a violent or non violent road. In the end, the storyline was a bit disappointing but the artwork from the graphic novel version of this original novel made up for this.
Ms. Yingling
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
After a virus kills all of the adults in the world, Lisa and her younger brother Todd are trying to survive. Lisa has found supplies and travels around in a car to find more, but other children have turned to marauding hordes and are terrorizing the weaker children. Lisa gathers everyone in her neighborhood, and soon they have a thriving community-- until a gang burns it to the ground. The group then takes over a local high school and fortify it. When things start to go well, Lisa gathers more ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, misc-comics
Based on the book of the same name by Author O. T. Nelson this book has scenes of violence, limited gore, and a glimpse of the apocalypse as a deadly virus specifically targets all the adults in the world leaving the children to fend for themselves. The character artwork seems to fluctuate a bit to me but I didn't mind altogether being able to enjoy the story and the character never change so much as to make them unrecognizable.

The story follows the life of 10 year old Lisa Nelson who originally
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
eThis book is about a girl named Lisa Nelson who was twelve years old. She had a little brother named Todd but they lost their family. They lived in a neighborhood that has a deadly virus that killed every adult on earth, leaving only children behind. Lisa also has many friends but she also has a strong enemy named the Chidester Gang, they were mean and cruel they liked to steal other people supplies and hurt other children. So Lisa, Todd, and her friends join together and help feed together and ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Wonderfully drawn post-apocalyptic tale. I had no idea it was adapted from a J/YA novel from the 70s.
My quibble with it is philosophic: the main character says the newly formed city established in the abandoned school is "her city." That she "owns" it. It's dictatorial thinking and makes the character seem less noble, though that's not the intention: "L'etat, c'est moi!"
My understanding is that no society can be formed without shared consent. You can start off with like-minded folks with the
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Like between a 2 and a half and 3. It wasn't bad, it's okay. The premise is good, an epidemic breaks out and all the adults get sick and die and their children are left to fend for themselves, survive, and create a new society for them.

This graphic novel is the adaptation of the novel by the same name.
The illustrations are good, I really liked the artwork. The story was good but at times too slow or very all of sudden this happening.

Overall I enjoyed it, what worked was the idea and the fact
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this on the shelf of a local comic shop and, despite having never heard of it or the source novel published something like 40 years ago, the premise grabbed me.

A virus wipes out everyone over the age of 12 leaving kids to fend for themselves. It's a little bit The Lord of the Flies meets a zombie-less The Walking Dead (think the arcs with the Governor and Negan).

Lisa Nelson and her younger brother Todd are two such parentally abandoned kids who decide to use their smarts to survive in
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm on the lookout for middle school appropriate graphic novels that can appeal to any gender/sex. Though the pacing seemed too quick at times, the designs are amazing. I can always appreciate a female lead too, although the minority characters were often left undeveloped and in the background. This had a serious Walking Dead vibe to it, but without the zombies and gore. I was surprised to find that it's based on a booked originally published in 1977, so it definitely was created before the ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is... weird. This came across my desk as a damaged item, so I read it before discarding it. There's a lot of unpleasant conservative ideology. And also some weird racialized language, and I'm not sure if that is from the original novel or a combination of text and the visual aspect of this adaptation. Not for me. If a kid comes in looking for a post-apocalyptic and/or girl-centric comic I will definitely point them elsewhere.
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