When I started middle school, 'required reading' was a new concept, but not one I disliked. One of the first books that was assigned was "The White Mountains" by John Christopher. I loved it. It was a gripping sci fi story, set many years in the future. I polished it off in one night, even though the teacher gave us two weeks to complete reading. During class the next day, Mr. Deck informed us that if we liked the book, there were two more in the series (this being 1978, the prequel had not been written). After class, I asked for the next book. I think he was slightly shocked that I'd read the book in one night.
Over the years, the storyline came back to me and I'd halfheartedly searched for them. Prior to the internet, the main source for the out of print books was used bookstores. The ones I'd visit when I thought about locating these books didn't have them. Two or three years ago, someone from one of my internet groups was looking for reading for her preteen boys. I suggested the series and she came back to report that her boys loved them. (thankfully, she isn't a part of that group anymore-drama queen doesn't even begin to describe...)
I tucked that information away, as my kids were slightly too young for the books. Two more times, the books came up in talking to coworkers and again, the books were well received by the kids. I added them to my Amazon wish list, mainly to remind myself that I wanted them. Searching Amazon showed "The Tripods" a BBC series based on the books. Not a surprise, since these books were written by a British author.
Recently, in an effort to encourage older son to search for things, we've begun going to the library. He tends to reads books until they fall apart (offered as evidence is all of our paperback copies of Harry Potter, read to pieces). His efforts centered on Star Wars and Pokemon offerings, but I did pick up the first book for him to read.
No, he wasn't interested-but I reread it myself and once again, I enjoyed the book. The next visit to the library found me getting the second book, "The City of Gold and Lead" and the prequel. Things being what they are today, I remembered the BBC series and mentioned it here on the blog. Off to You Tube I went, where I found the episodes in pristine shape. So far, I've seen nine of the episodes (10 is not available on there and I don't want to skip over it).
Kudos are in order to the BBC. For the most part, the series is nearly exact in the storyline of the books. The production values are incredible, though I think the second book will fall into the realm of cheesy brit sci fi. Now that I've viewed the shows online, the DVD set is on my list of wants, along with copies of the books.
In searching further, there is a website devoted to the series , www.thetripods.org
I haven't had the chance to delve into it much-but I will. The one piece of news I found quite interesting is that Disney, through their Touchstone division, has purchased the rights to the books and is producing a movie for 2009 release. It should be really interesting to see what a substantial budget will do-and whether the movie will follow the book as well as the series seems to have done so far.
Personally, I need to find episode 10 to watch...and find used copies of the DVDs...and find more information about this Touchstone production...