The White Mountains Book reviews


Author(s): John ChristopherDownload  


Long ago, the Tripods—huge, three-legged machines—descended upon Earth and took control. Now people unquestioningly accept the Tripods’ power. They have no control over their thoughts or their lives.But for a brief time in each person’s life—in childhood—he is not a slave. For Will, his time of freedom is about to end—unless he can escape to the White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists.

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Jennifer Wardrip

Jennifer Wardrip rated it     

Reviewed by Kira M for

Centuries ago, the Tripods took over Earth and enslaved mankind. Every human wears a helmet made of metal that makes it so they are controlled by the Tripods. There is a period of time in one’s childhood, however, where one is free to think for oneself.

When thirteen-year-old Will is told that there is a place in the mountains where there are people free of the Tripods, he decides he doesn’t want to be capped and runs away. Along the way, he is joined by a childhood friend and an old man. Their journey goes fairly well, until Will becomes really sick and the three have to seek shelter in a medieval-like town.

Will meets the town’s princess and her family and is invited to become part of their group. He becomes torn between becoming capped and finding acceptance or following his friends to the mountains. Will Will make it to the mountains to freedom, or will he sacrifice that freedom for a life of luxury?

A compelling adventure story filled with action and suspense. Readers will like this science fiction story splashed with a medieval times feel as well as the well-developed plot and characters. A fast-paced story that keeps you at the edge of your seat, WHITE MOUNTAINS is a great start to the TRIPODS series (and don’t forget to check out the companion novel, WHEN THE TRIPODS CAME).

Readers who like science fiction and adventure will enjoy reading this book, as well as the others in the series.


Sara rated it     

When my librarian in 6th grade, Mr. Rogers, gave this book to me, it completely captured my imagination. It introduced me to science fiction. It made me want to read the sequel RIGHT NOW. And I haven’t read it since then. I was trying to decide what to book talk to elementary and middle schoolers this summer, and I thought — well, why not do the book that made me excited about reading when I was a kid?

Reading this again was kind of a surreal experience, because it made me realize that I remember the experience of reading it more than I remembered anything actually ABOUT it. I did not remember the slightly vintage feeling writing style, or anything about the plot. What I DID remember was the characters (I kept thinking “Where’s Beanpole?!”) and the concept. The writing style ended up being way more interesting than I remember it being, and the story is well paced and gradually builds to an super tense climax.

This book really holds up. It’s great, classic, straightforward sci-fi. It starts off slowly, builds its world well, and then just races off into the sunset. I am excited to book talk this and see if contemporary kids will love it as much as I did when I was their age.


Zora rated it     

4.5 stars. Older middle grade and up sf dystopian tale from 1967 (though you wouldn’t know its age from the text). Plot: It’s a dark time for humans. Either aliens or sentient machines of our own design (I assume this gets revealed later on in the series; for now, we don’t know which) have overwhelmed Earth and people are living an early-19th century lifestyle. At age 14, humans get “Capped” by the machines, their brains taken over, their curiosity and any sense of rebellion stifled. A few 13 year old boys discover that there are a few adults who’ve avoided the capping and run away from home to join them. It’s a difficult, exciting journey.

Loved it. Want to read the rest. Won’t spoil details for you. At less than 200 pages, it’s a two-hour read; check your library or used book store (are there still any of those?) or Amazon.


Michael rated it      

.??? childhood: this may be the first book i ever bought- or that might have been john christopher’s ‘the lotus caves’- but, whichever, it was this weird and that weird cover that caught me. i do not know, just the abstract let me imagine it myself. not what a movie will let you do, and yes there is a british tv miniseries of it, but not very memorable.

i give it a five because i read it for something like the 4th time as an adult? at the time, this was the first in the series, and if you have a choice, start here. coming to understand this world as the young narrator does, is great… great pacing, great mystery, great escape, great chase…

Crystal Starr Light

Crystal Starr Light rated it      

One of my FAVORITE books during childhood, on sale today!!

$1.99 on Kindle


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