The White Mountains

Book review by
Mark Nichol, Common Sense Media
The White Mountains Book Poster Image
Appealing plot, powerful writing offset slow pace.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Will and his friends destroy a Tripod with grenades. Huge, ominous Tripods stalk the lead characters, and at one point Will is snatched up by one. Will agonizes over the decisions he must make as he travels on his way.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book's plot is thin but solid, and the writing spare yet powerful. The appeal of a boy free to set his own course in life offsets the slow pace.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2, 8, 10, 11, and 14-year-old Written byNothingofwater March 31, 2013

Great adventure read!

I loved it as a kid, and I love as a parent. Has a lot of the simplistic feeling as 'The Giver', but without all the weighty moralizing. Straightfor... Continue reading
Parent Written bydans3 February 21, 2016

Really bad writing technique

Although the story line is fair, the writing style is sub par. In reading this book with my son for school, I don't even understand many of the sentences.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEthanb20 May 5, 2017

A great book to read for YA readers

I personally thought that this book was good! The story was very creative, the background information about the characters gave the story some depth to it and i... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 6, 2014

Clever SI-FI

I think this book is great. There is hardly any violence but it is still exciting. The story also makes you imagine more about about a world controlled by alie... Continue reading

What's the story?

A century from now, humans--living in ignorance of their free past--are subjects of an unseen master race. But one boy's chance meeting with a wandering free man sets him on an odyssey in search of liberty. The story's pace and gravity date it, but the message of the value of free will and self-determination is timeless.


Is it any good?

This book has a fascinating premise, and though its pace is slow -- especially for today's young readers, who are used to roller-coaster movie action -- the rewards are great. This is an adventure for thoughtful young people.

The growing realization of the young hero, Will Parker, that he cannot help but reject his docile society, will resonate with passionate young readers who question their own world and their place in it. And his journey is a rite of passage much like adolescence itself. He becomes much more self-aware, but he has his doubts, and at one point he is prepared to settle for easy luxury among the nobility, even if it means abandoning his friends and his quest.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the world the author has created in this book. How would you feel if someone else could control your mind? What makes Will's quest so challenging?

Book details

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