Imagine if you will…the place: Glen Ellyn, IL. The time: present day. The adults: gone.
A mysterious plague ravages the world, killing off every person over the age of 12 (how this plague discriminates between pre and post 12-year-olds is unexplained), leaving children everywhere to fend for themselves. Lisa and her brother Todd are among those in Glen Ellyn, hiding out in their homes, scrounging for supplies, and hoping to avoid the growing gangs that stalk the abandoned streets. But Lisa realizes that in order to survive, she will have to band the local children together into a fully functioning society, sharing their resources and establishing a military for defense.
Soon, the children of Grand Street are teaming up, and when Tom Logan’s Chidester Gang threatens to destroy all they’ve worked for, Lisa comes up with a plan to move her group into the fortress-like building of Glenbard West High School (Hilltoppers rejoice-your school is in immortal print). There, the tiny crew turns the school into an impenetrable fort, while inside, a city of children begins to grow and flourish.
Despite all of their planning though, will Lisa and her team of leaders be able to hold off the constant wave of invaders? How will they continue to survive in a hostile world without any modern conveniences? Can a young girl like Lisa handle the pressures and challenges of owning a city?
I found this story compelling due to the fact that I grew up in Wheaton, right down the road from Glen Ellyn (It also pained me to learn that the prepubescent leader of Wheaton in the book was a jerk).