Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: The Girl Who Owned a City

Author: O. T. Nelson and Dan Jolley (adapter)
Illustrator: Joëlle Jones
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Release Date: April 1, 2012

The Girl Who Owned a City is a graphic novel adaptation of O. T. Nelson’s classic children’s book from the 1970s by comic book veterans, Dan Jolley and Joëlle Jones. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone over the age of twelve has died of a mysterious virus. The children of the world – Chicago, specifically – are faced with anarchy, dwindling food, and finding resources for survival.

The protagonist is ten year old Lisa Nelson, who is left with her little brother, Todd, in her care. She is a shrewd tween who is surviving better than most due to her quick thinking and obstinate character. Lisa rapidly learns that the only way she and her brother are going to continue to beat the odds is to make alliances and find a way to defend themselves against the gangs that are beginning to form.

I do not usually read comic books or graphic novels unless there is something my five year old wants read to her. However, I thought this work was brilliant. I have not read the original book, but through the gorgeous illustrations, I do not feel as if I was missing anything. As a parent, I experienced a certain horror from reading and seeing how the children were expected to survive. Something that children probably will not notice, but resonated strongly with me, was the lack of babies in the illustrations. (I have no illusions as to what would happen to most infants if that particular doomsday did occur.) Lisa blew me away with her strength and determination to keep her kids and her city safe from the opposition. This little girl was an adept problem-solver and born leader, who was able to navigate through some very tricky situations.

Overall, this was a fantastic graphic novel with eye-popping illustrations and a story that will linger in its readers’ mind long after finishing.

*To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome.


  1. I love graphic novels and, after reading your great review, I decided to give this one a try. Thank you for posting! :D

    1. You're welcome and thank you for reading it! I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I had no idea it was a graphic novel when I accepted it, and I was a little afraid to read it. The only graphic novels that I had read previous to this were fairy tale adaptations. Be sure to let me know if you enjoy it. :-)


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!