John Christopher Week – Wild Jack & The Guardians

Here’s an interesting pair of books. Mirror opposites, you might say.


In Wild Jack, a civilized elite lives in walled cities, with savages prowling the lands outside.

In The Guardians, “savages” are trapped in cities, while a civilized elite prowls the land outside.

But are the civilized folks really civilized? Are their servants really slaves? And are the elite themselves really free?

That’s just the background, of course. The plots begin similarly, when a young man goes from one of these societies to the other. But here’s where they’re different.

In Wild Jack, a boy goes from the tightly controlled elite city to face starvation in the savage outlands.

In The Guardians, a boy leaves the savage city for a luxurous life in with the rural elite.

 Both come highly recommended. “The Guardians” might be a little weightier, but both will introduce kids to big ideas. (Actually, there are a lot of adults who could use an introduction to some of these ideas, too.)

(The upcoming interview with John Christopher will shed some light on The Guardians, by the way. As Christopher points out, it also has a similar theme to the Lotus Caves, even though that it a wholly different plot.)


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