Friday, October 14, 2016

The Children's Story by James Clavell

The Children’s Story
by James Clavell

This story takes place in a classroom somewhere in the U.S., with the feeling that a war has been lost. A new teacher is brought in to educate the youngsters while the old teacher is sent to the principal’s office, never to be seen again. This new teacher is young, enthusiastic, and friendly – exactly the type of person that sends warning signals to an adult, but easily wins over children with her alleged logic about loyalty and symbols, religion, and patriotism.

When one boy argues they always begin the day with the Pledge of Allegiance, she acquiesces then challenges the children to explain what it means. She kindly questions everything they have to say, gently leading them toward what we know to be the new party line.

An excellent short story that will make you angry and horrified. It warns how easily children can be manipulated by adults. A quick read at only 96 pages, it will, nonetheless, stay with you for a long time.

[ James Clavell entry on Wikipedia ]

Recommended by Charlotte K.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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