Rebirth of Reason

Favorite EditSanction this itemThe Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson
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The Girl Who Owned a City
A plague kills all the adults, leaving children to fend for themselves.  This is the story of how Lisa figures it all out, using reason.  She attacks each problem in turn and ultimately takes control of enough of the city to ensure the survival of the group that clusters around her. 

This is Atlas Shrugged for children.  Instead of a given world collapsing for lack of reality, reason and rights, we have an established chaos coming to order as one girl uses her reason to deal with reality and even come to understand rights.

This is a children's book.  It does have problems from an adult point of view, not the least of which is where all the bodies went.  They just disappeared, quickly disintegrating into dust.  The plague leaves "children" behind as if the onset of menses were the only standard for the chemistry of adulthood.  What defines it for a boy?   

Our society forces children to be dependent on adults for everything.  If there were no grown-ups, how would children survive?  This book tells kids that they can figure it all out and deal with it.

Obviously, the author is an Objectivist of some kind.  In fact, Lisa finds inspiration reading Atlas Shrugged, a book alluded to, but never mentioned.  More than that, this book contrasts well to Lord of the Flies.  What happens to "children" without "adults" is an artificial problem, not much different than a book about "robots" or "aliens."  The situation is there for the author and the reader to hassle out problems of identity and purpose.  (Who are we, really?)   Being a rational person, Nelson has written a book for children in which a child uses her mind to solve basic problems in survival. 
Added by Michael E. Marotta
on 3/23/2005, 5:08am

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