Apocalypses for Kids
June 30, 2006 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Help me remember this novel where all the adults die, leaving children to run the world.

As a pre-teen, I read a book where some sort of disease wipes out everyone over the age of 15. A girl (around 12?) is the central character and she somehow commandeers a school and an army of children. I think she has one or two siblings, a station wagon, and a 15-year-old friend with a learner's permit (who can drive). They learn to make molotov cocktails, set up a daycare and a school, and defend their empire against roving bands of children.

Can you help me remember this book, which would have probably come out in the 1970s or early 80s? I can't turn up anything in Google or Alibris. Thanks.
posted by acoutu to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I got nothing on your book, but you might find it of interest drives a similiar premise drives one of the plot threads in the second volume of Joe Haldeman's Worlds trilogy, Worlds Apart.
posted by mojohand at 1:47 PM on June 30, 2006

This book sounds right, but it was published in 2003 (?).
posted by interrobang at 1:47 PM on June 30, 2006

Day of the Triffids?
posted by ny_scotsman at 1:48 PM on June 30, 2006

The Girl Who Owned a City
posted by Neiltupper at 1:48 PM on June 30, 2006

Sigh. Post Comment. Preview. Different buttons.
...but you might find it of interest that a similiar premise drives one of the plot threads....
posted by mojohand at 1:49 PM on June 30, 2006

Yeah, The Girl Who Owned a City was the one that I found.
posted by lain at 1:56 PM on June 30, 2006

(Not answering the question) but the TV series Jeremiah is based on a very similar premise.
posted by fuzzbean at 1:59 PM on June 30, 2006

Not day of the Triffids...That was a blind girl, a drunk and a scientist.

What was the Star Trek episode where there was a disease that prematurely aged the "grups"?
posted by Gungho at 2:00 PM on June 30, 2006

posted by Rash at 2:02 PM on June 30, 2006

It might have been emergence by david r palmer, though I'm not sure the plot matches entirely. By the way, have you seen this question?
posted by advil at 2:12 PM on June 30, 2006

and this thread, which is longer. The book may well be in there somewhere, if noone here comes up with it.
posted by advil at 2:14 PM on June 30, 2006

I can't remember the name, but you might find it via Southpark; there was an episode loosely based on it, where the kids discover thet can have their parents carted away for molesting them. Later, with the town run by children, Cartman makes a reference to The Before Times (when there were adults), a phrase that I think originates with the book, so maybe a google search for that phrase will find an occurance of it in original context?
posted by -harlequin- at 2:24 PM on June 30, 2006

Or maybe The before Times is a Mad Max reference? A show typically rolls a lot of parody into each episode, so I'm not sure that's the phrase to pick, but it's the only one I can remember :/
posted by -harlequin- at 2:26 PM on June 30, 2006

posted by ruddhist at 3:58 PM on June 30, 2006

Yah that's "The girl who owned a city". I had read it myself a few years ago and recently had that same question.

I believe her brother was around 5 years old. They started out by closing up the surrounding homes in a neighborhood and using walkways on the roofs. Then they were forced into the local school by another gang of kids.
Another part consisted of the girl and her brother
driving around looking for food, eventually finding a grocery warehouse stocked with food.

It was a very interesting book.
posted by Sufi at 4:18 PM on June 30, 2006

Yes, it is The Girl Who Owned a City. I wasn't able to turn up the previous posts, but you guys are awesome. Looks like I mixed up some of the details (it's been a loooooong time).

I think the next major steps in my reading career were the Outsiders, 1984, and Brave New World. I wonder if reading The Girl had anything to do with that?
posted by acoutu at 5:18 PM on June 30, 2006

i don't know, but howard fast wrote an incredible story of kids who were taught to take over the world, trained and then taught to recognize each other
posted by cellar at 8:15 PM on June 30, 2006

I believe much of the south park intertext referred to "Lord of the Flies". (amazon link)

And probably Children of the Corn and others. I haven't read "The Girl Who Owned a City", but it sounds interesting.
posted by omiethenull at 8:14 AM on July 1, 2006

Brave New World was the first book to pop in my head when described the book. Books like Brave New World, 1984, and The Giver are awesome.. they really make you think about society.
posted by lain at 2:20 PM on July 1, 2006

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