John Christopher Week


At long last! It’s time to get started on John Christopher Week!I’ve been awfully excited about it — as you can tell from the banner I spent ages nitpicking over. (Yes, that’s me being abducted by the Tripod.)

Now I’m no expert on John Christopher, but I’ve read a lot of his books (both those for kids and those for adults) over the last 25 years and I’m mostly planning to share my excitement — and a few hairbrained ideas — with you.

If you don’t care to read farther, let me just leave you with this thought … these books are getting old, but they deserve to remain in print and on library shelves. They deserve librarians who can put them in the hands of bright kids. And they deserve to be read.

If you’ve never read one, “The White Mountains” is a great place to start.

That‘s where I got started, way back in the sixth grade…

We used to watch these programs in English class where someone would narrate a book excerpt while an illustrator drew a picture to go with it. You’d watch him drawing while you heard the story. No dramatizations or animations. (Anybody remember what this was?)

At the end of the show about the “The White Mountains” show there seemed to be a general consensus among the boys of the class that we should run to the library to try to be the first one to grab the book. Or perhaps I just assumed there would be.

Anyway, I’m not sure who got it. It wasn’t me.

But eventually, I found it back on the shelf and read it. It blew me away, of course. And the sequels were each fantastic, too. What a combination of a  great action story and a big idea served up so a kid can understand it.

As I read more Christopher books, that’s what I found again and again–  big ideas and great stories.

And there was something else, too, complicated relationships between the main characters. Perhaps it’s these that make the books so good. Actual substance under the action.

Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about this week — all three of these things and I hope to find other Christopher fans out there who will join in. Tune in tomorrow…..

3 Responses

  1. I’m glad John Christopher is getting some attention! I’ve seen his books come up a lot at the “what was that book I read as a kid” forum I read online. The City of Gold and Lead is the one I remember best.

  2. I love the White Mountains series. Images from that series have stuck with me for twenty-something years, and I have multiple copies on my shelves, because I can never pass up any of the books if I see them in a used bookstore. Looking forward to your discussion.

  3. I read and loved the Tripods trilogy as a child also. Like Jen, the images stuck with me all these years. It’s a great series.

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