The Children's Story
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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 I kept asking the 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 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...."
A Dell / Eleanor Friede Book Published by Dell Publishing a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 1540 Broadway New York, New York 10036 Copyright � 1963, 1981 by James Clavell Illustration and design copyright � by Joan Stoliar All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of
New Teacher remembered every name! Johnny put up his hand. “How’d you know our names? I mean, well, we haven’t had a roll call or anything, so how’d you know our names?” “That’s easy, Johnny,” the New Teacher said. “You all sit in the same places every day. Each desk has one pupil. So I learned your names from a list. I had to work for three whole days to remember your names. A teacher must work very hard to be a good teacher, and so I worked for three days so that I could know each of you the
He watched the classroom door with hate. He felt the hatred deep within his stomach. It gave him strength. It was two minutes to nine. The teacher glanced numbly from the door and stared at the flag which stood in a corner of the room. But she couldn’t see the flag today. She was blinded by her terror, not only for herself but mostly for them, her children. She had never had children of her own. She had never married. In the mists of her mind she saw the rows upon rows of children she had
iron. Do you like the color?” “Oh, yes,” Mary said. “You’ve got green eyes too.” “If you like, children, as a very special surprise, you can all have this sort of uniform. Then you won’t have to worry about what you have to wear to school every day. And you’ll all be the same.” The children twisted excitedly in their seats. Mary said, “But it’ll cost a lot, and my momma won’t want to spend the money ’cause we have to buy food and food is expen— Well, it sort of costs a lot of money.” “They
from her seat and walked the length of the room and the children’s eyes followed her, and Johnny stood, knees of jelly. She sat down on his seat and put her hands on his shoulders, and his shoulders were shaking like his knees. “He’s going to a school. Some grown-ups have to go to school as well as children.” “But they took him away and he didn’t want to go.” Johnny felt the tears close and he fought them back. The New Teacher touched him gently, and he smelled the youth and cleanness of her,