Classic of the Day: The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

I probably don't need to tell you the plot of The Chrysalids, but I'll give a quick overview of it.  David Strorm is born and raised in a village where people with minor abnormalities are considered crimes against nature.  He discovers a friend of his has six toes, and is thus if discovered would be banished or killed.  As the story progresses, we find that this is likely the remnants of our society after what the locals call the 'Tribulation".  Of course, it turns out David, too, has an abnormality: he, along with a few others, are psychic.  The story goes as expected from here.  People find out, a chase ensues, and our heroes pursue freedom, ultimately escaping to a more enlightened society.

This was the first book assigned to me in Grade 10 English class, and was the first book I read in school that I actually enjoyed.  I decided to revisit the book last year to see if it held up, and fortunately it did.  The story was engaging, and the rebuilding of a collapsed society is always a fascinating story to tell, particularly when they don't explain how is collapsed in the first place.  Backstory is overrated (seriously, I mean that. There is something to be said for leaving details to the imagination).  As gamer, the post-apocalyptic world is a familiar one, so that's a plus, and as a Canadian, the setting in remote Labrador is also pretty exciting.

I will say that the writing does seem dated; the language used is a bit formal and certainly full of britishisms.  The edition I read used the classic Courier font printed small and close together (this stuff matters!), so that doesn't help the book.  But the right sell (Mutants! Post-apocalyptia!) should get it in their hands.

Like I said for Lord of the Flies, I know this is often assigned reading.  Get it to them before it gets that far.  Nothing kills the enjoyment of a book more than being forced to write reviews and reports and studies on each and every line.
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