Sunday, October 23, 2005


Have any of you read THE CHILDREN'S STORY by James Clavell? If you have, I'd like to know what you think about it. I first read it about fifteen years ago when another teacher recommended it to me - as an example of the awesome responsibility and power (yes, POWER) that teachers have. It's a quick read -- it takes about 30 minutes to read, give or take a few minutes.

The back cover gives the background for the story: "It was a simple incident in the life of James Clavell - a talk with his young daughter just home from school - that inspired this chilling tale of what could happen in twenty-five quietly devastating minutes. He writes: 'THE CHILDREN'S STORY came into being that day. It was then that I really realized how vulnerable my child's mind was - any mind, for that matter - under controlled circumstances. Normally I write and rewrite and re-rewrite, but this story came quickly - almost by itself. Barely three words were changed. It pleases me greatly because it keeps asking me questions. Questions like What's the use of 'I pledge allegiance' without understanding? Like Why is it so easy to divert thoughts? Like What is freedom? and Why is it so hard to explain? THE CHILDREN'S STORY keeps asking me all sorts of questions I cannot answer. Perhaps you can - then your child will . . . '"

Maybe it's unrealistic, unlikely, or simplistic. But, nevertheless, it's one of those rare books that really make you think.


Anonymous said...

Just saw your question. I first came across it 20 years ago. What a magnificent little book. There is also a wonderful movie, only 25 minutes long. Excellent vehicle for senior class discussions. Sally

Anonymous said...

I have just read it this year. I enjoyed it very much, but it still annoys me to this day that I cannot write an essay about, but I understand it perfectly fine. Nice job James Clavell...