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10 November 2004


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The plotline is dated because it was written in 1977. The characters would probably be "annoying" to people over target age-group, because they are supposed to range 14 and under, and any child at that age in their situation would probably react differently than an adult would, which is what makes this book interesting.
While I agree that there are long stretches of flat content, if you had made it past page 50, you probably would have enjoyed the book more.


I liked this book better when it was called "Lord of the Flies".

J Mauldin Heiner

Or not.

I read the whole thing--I've got an adolescent-lit-for-librarians class that requires a lot of YA reading--and I share Leila's views. It's terribly written, and worse, it's dogma pretending to be fiction pretending to be literature. I've read a lot of books lately for the same target age group, and not all of them were garbage.

Somehow I got through many years of school without ever reading _Lord of the Flies_, so I can't comment on that other than to say some popular books (even among teachers) from that era aren't really good literature. Whether LOTF is good literature, I can't say. But for an alternative to this book that, while maybe not great literature, at least has some literary merit, try _How I Live Now_ by Meg Rosoff. Slightly older audience, though.

Kids may like junk books, same as they like junk food, but it's important to help them learn the difference between literature and junk books. Though I can't see many of today's kids liking this one. The book's a thinly disguised (and wrongminded) lecture full of lousy idealogies and politics.

J Mauldin Heiner

Oh...and my copy is copyrighted 1975.



You insulted artemis fowl and the girl who owned a city in one paragraph!!!!
Thats my favorite series and book of all time!!!!!

pised in pittsburgh

ugh. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE the girl who owned a city. ahhh ARRRR!~


Ya all want to know what the best thing about google is ? It is that you can go and search a memory from your younger years and find that memory. O.T. is a great friend of my 6th grade teacher and we had an awesome experience in school when a real published author came and gave us insight to the writing experience and business side he went through. Get over it, he never had anyone like the haters here in mind when he wrote this book. I'm sure he doesn't shed any tears over your reviews either. Every last detail of the book was written as an exaggeration of his real life experiences raising his daughter and her friends. Go ahead and hate away but the abstracted storyline was spot on to where it came from. Young childrens struggles with eachother and how conquering and resolution to those struggles in a grossly abstract form was the inspiration. You aren't his audience and by the way, he received a $2000 advance and $1500 payment upon completion with no royalty agreement upon release in 1977. In 1994 he received $35,000 upon re-release and an exclusive over cost royalty agreement. I'm sure he loves the publicity you now provide him for it. Keep it up !!!!


i love this book i don't know why people said is was crap it was not did you write your sequles yet?

I loved a Girl Who Owned a City! YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!


I liked this book because after I thought it was almost over there was another subplot added in, example, Lisa getting shot after she had just finally gotten everything settled. I thought O.T. Nelson maintained this book very well because he kept you knowing what was going on in the school building (while being with Lisa on the farm) without he himself telling you. He gave you information in an in-direct way. Also, I think this book would appeal to most of its readers because its mostly written for an audience of about 10-14 or 15 at the most. Its plot describes every kid's dream: a world without parents. In the book, Lisa enjoyed riding her bicycle freely on the highway, which a lot of kids want to be able to do, along with driving a car, which Lisa does, and being the leader of a city, or a lot of kids, which Lisa does by starting out with a neighborhood and going into a whole school building, or about 600 children. I think your review needs some examples of the book before you say how terribly written and plotted it was.


this book was horrible no offense you cant even find any info about O.T Nelson on the net and he/she probably made it that way so that people wouldnt contact them about the book


That was one of my favorite books of all time, you didn't even give it a chance! The book was not crap, and you DO NOT have the right to say so. You don't have to like it, you don't like it, who freakin cares. Some people do like it though, and you don't have to insult it. I am very sorry that you gave up on it right away, because you would've liked it if you finished it probably. But, when you insult the book, you insult me. By the way, is there a second book to it? He obviously left it open for a second book.


i love your books my favorite is the girl who owned a city


all you people who hate the girl who owned the city need to shut up it is my favorite book ever!!!!


Ilike cookies and ummm... pie and ummm... stuff and ummm... more stuff and ummm... lots of stuff


I am a 6th grade teacher reading this book out loud to my students right now. I read it in a literature circle group when I was in 7th grade and loved it. I found it at Barnes and Noble a couple years ago and re-read it because I remembered loving it so much years ago, is a great piece of literature, no, it does have its moments that drag a bit but the over all story is great and more than that, the kids LOVE it. I have already had 2 students check it out from the library and read ahead of the class, and they love teasing the other kids that they know what is going to happen and they don't. I get begged to "read one more chapter" and have been told they would sit in from recess if I would keep reading. It has everything a kid is looking for, drama, mystery, violence and a world without adults. It is not the worlds best written book but if it get my students interested in reading I am in for sure.


Katie: I can definitely see the appeal of the storyline, I really can -- and it's awesome that the book inspires such a strong reaction (as seen in the comments above, including yours -- I love it that the kids have been reading ahead) -- but the book just didn't do it for me.


I loved this book

I think this book is great for all ages and is a good book for school. It talks about independance and rights of all people even though im only 12 i can read it with ease & think this book is a great read and a life lesson for all people.

I wish she would write a 2nd one


I have a thing for post-apocalyptic literature/movies and this may have been my first survival fiction. Re-reading it as an adult there are definitely some dogma/philisophical agenda items there I didn't catch as a kid, but I could also say that about some of my other favorite kids books: Flight of the Doves [definitely an Irish independence against the English undertone] or Treasures of Morrow/Return from Morrow [H.M. Hoover - although all her books seem to stress the ruling autocratic political body keeping secrets and resources from the lower class who do most of the manual labor.]. Per Wikipedia "Nelson has stated that his intent in writing the novel was to translate the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand into terms children could understand" but after trying to get thru the passage on Objectivism, I gave up, agreeing with this reviewer. This book has an agenda, I'm just not sure what it is. But it was an interesting read when I was in 7th grade.


It seems your review of The Girl Who Owned A City has stirred a large amount of anger,

I have no issues with anyone's opinion, and I will freely admit the authors limit on talent, but keep well in mind, that this book was specifically written for the 9-12 year old audience (The main character was 10 when it started) despite it's darker tones throughout the book. It was meant to grab hold of younger children's attention as well as work with their vocabulary. That said, yes, the writing is crap... dare i say juvenile? At the same time, this book is high on the list of my favorites, one that I read every year or so, and keep hoping to see it realized as a movie, though I know of at least one school that turned it into a stage performance.

Might I suggest reading it all the way through? the first 50 pages is a poor sampling of any book, and if i remember right, those 50 pages only take you about to the battle of their street... poor sampling indeed, you didn't even get to the City part of the book..

if you read it again, ignore some choice inconsistencies, and just get into the story (as a child would) you might like it, and if not, you will have much more solid ground to stand upon, having read through the whole of the book, and not just thumbing through and throwing it down as crap.

Thanks, and happy reading.


ahem.to the twelve year old leila . . . the person who wrote this book was a he not a she and ...yea

nadine perez


nadine perez

hi i think you r all exaggerating i liked it but i read better! i mean cmon people!!! get a grip!!!!
its just an opinion and to the critic dont be so picky!!!!!!! at lesat try to finish it.....well later;-)


when did the story take place? like 1987 or sumthing?

nadine loperez



heyy, this is the $exy Bea$t talking about the book: The Girl Who Owned a City... i don't know why people are saying this book sux when it doesn't. It teaches the average teenager to be a better leader and not a follower! I think every teenager should read this book about Lisa who is young and everyone aroundd her is dead byy a deadly virus!!:) <3


I like wat eve u got girly girls!!!!!!!!!!!!

PIE MAN !!!!!!



Im a 12 year old in 6th grade. i am currently doing a project on the girl who owned a city and it was th best book i ever read!


How do I get a copy of the screenplay? I read this story as a read-aloud to my ESL 5th graders and they LOVED it!! They asked if there was a play that they could put on so they could show the school how good it was. The writing may be juvenile, but if it makes my students want to read and find out about literature, I'm going to run with it!

im prefer not to say my name

well i am in the process in reading the book but i really like it so far. then again, i love to read those types of things that kids like me would do! fight for freedom! i would be just like lisa!! i love this book. and it is rude to say it is bad. i dont mind because to say the truth, everybody has opinions, and we all have to deal with what other people think. so just because im young and stuff, doesent mean i dont know how to be wise and a good sport, and you probably only read the first pages. the first pages of every book are boring and bad, but its how they explain what is going to happen and introducing the characters. but no! i am not defending the author because its just an opinion, you dont have to nesacarily agree with it. so enjoy the book!!! READ IT !!!!


rock on!!!! wo hoooo!!!!!! i think this book rox!!!! zack thinks so 2!!!!!!


I find it amusing and telling that all the people who claim to like this book type like drugged monkeys. How intelligent and well-read you all are.

This book sucked out loud. I'm usually a big fan of post-apocalyptic literature and I never balk at reading YA--there is a lot of good writing intended for children out there--so I was eager for this book to entertain me. I gave it all the chances I could. The fact is that the author lacked voice and craft when it was written. I have no idea whether O.T. Nelson has improved with time, but when this novel was penned he could have benefited from some basic writing classes.

Lord of the Flies is quality literature that still appeals to kids AND teaches a message. And the Star Trek episode "Miri" did the whole "plague kills off adults, kids must survive" plot in a MUCH more entertaining way.

This book sucks.


This book rocks. I kept my copy from when I was young forever because it is so good. You appreciate it more when you are young.


he WAS writing a sequel but the pubisher didn't agree that it could live up to the first one, and to make a sequel you need the premission of the original publisher.


GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Places are real I looked it up on google Earth.


I HATE THE PUBLISHER. i wish that they would lat him have a sequel i would buy it. whos with me


I disagree with you. I do think that The Girl Who Owned a City could have been better. But it wasn't as bad as you say it is. Well, in my opinion. I've read books that I didn't like and I stopped reading them. But then, I read it again all the way to the end and actually liked it. (Honestly.) Because usually intros could be boring. But it's in the middle where things start to get interesting. I think that's where you stopped. As for long boring stretch periods, I didn't really think there was any in this book. I actually thought that the plot was good. But then again, we're all different people with different opinions. So I respect your opinions on this. The way I see it, it could have been better but it was good. Some parts were predictable but they were good. So I guess, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I liked it... Was I the only one?

Michael Z. Williamson

At least the dogma wasn't socialist hippie pollyannaism. In fact, the socialist mooch gets tossed out on her rear, IIRC.

Perhaps that's what a lot of readers dislike.

I found it engaging enough as a YA, and it continues to sell, which means lots of other people do, too.

It's certainly simplistic. It's written for pre-teens.

There are a variety of legitimate criticisms of the political content, but they have to be looked at in context, which I've rarely seen anyone do.

kenley robison

im in 6th grade at guntown middle school and i luved the book and so did me and my friend caylea.... she actually got me 2 read it and as soon as i started reading it i had 2 c wat waz goin 2 happen at the end ... but ppl shudnt say dat about the book cuz it was great they shud of kept here compents 2 there selfs if they didnt lik it cuz others have different opions then others but anyways great book ... thanx


hi i hated this book bcuz it sucked and it was boring and pretty much all books we read for school suck on ice! and i read this for school so...it did suck...even though i must say it was one of the better ones we read for school


oh yah and that was just my opinion^

lana maine

hello pplz my name is lana and im in the 7th grade this book is realy awsome and you can say that its garbage but its not i have read this book like fifteen times i LOVE it the only thing i dont like is that thers not a sequel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is fun! I just read this book because my 12 year old daughter said it was her favorite book of all time. Wow, ok... So, it seems like pretty standard fare kid-lit, in fact, I'm pretty sure it was written by a kid. That's cool, I get the appeal. But to my eyes it is simply a poor adaptation of Atlas Shrugged attempting to prop up philosophies that have proved untenable over the past century. To the adults raging against this reviewer, I urge you to expand your literary palette; this book IN NO WAY constitutes good literature or even very good ideas. Please try harder.


that was the best book i ever read!!! i read it twice and im doin a report on the auther but cant find any info

The Girl Who Owned a City is the best book ever

How do you not like The girl who owned a city?! it is the best book i have ever read y wont the publisher let the sepuel go through? I am not trying to be mean, just stating my opinion.


Pretty obvious isn't it? Note when this discussion started and what today's date is. If the conversation about this YA novel has persisted this long, it clearly carries some merit. I read "The Girl Who Owned a City" when I was in 7th grade and truly enjoyed it. It was one of few books that had a female protagonist yet boasted a plot with enough suspense for me (a 12 year old boy) to still read it cover to cover.

Those of you who seem to want to console yourselves by saying "this book sucks" have really done very little to justify that claim. I saw a few "this isn't good literature" hits. What makes good literature? Yeah, I've gone to college like quite a few other reviewers and picked up a BA in English and am now a Middle School ELA teacher. I know the theories and measures for what "great lit" is. Point blank - good lit is a book that inspires reading. This book clearly does as it is still in EVERY school library I have ever been too and is checked out year round.

To those of you playing the "long boring spans" card: ever read Frankenstein? How about Great Expectations? Tale of Two Cities??? Those are books straight from the canon that include hundreds of pages of lifeless text. They are all still great books in their own right, but just like ANY book need to be looked at in context.

My point: if you liked the book; fantastic. If you didn't; that's just fine. Either way, don't get on your high horse and pretend to be knowledgeable without looking into the background of the book or make assumptions that only serve to show how unintelligible you can make yourself sound. It's a YA book -- kids like it -- get out from under your bridge and go read something else, trolls.


The problem isnt the book. I read this when i was in 6th grade many years ago. the problem, however, is the fact that some of you lack the ability to actually use your imagination to further the impact of a book. Instead you use the book in placement of your own imagination. people like you are unable to appreciate anything that isn't written out in a step by step instruction. Use your own creativity.


its a better book when you live in my town. The writer lived here and wrote the book in the same kind of setting. Its really interesting and cool.

Lance Uppercut

"MEGA dated." That phrase is the most hilarious irony I've read in a while.

ferrets rule

if u have nothing nice to say don't say it at all

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