I know I didn’t dream this

For years, I’ve been trying to track down a novel that I used when I taught 8th grade back in the 70s. I remember the kids really liking it, and I remember the name of the book being “The Child Kings.” I swear that the author was Rebecca West, but that can’t be right.
I’m thinking that maybe it was a short story — but, at any rate, the tale tells of a day when everyone in the world wakes up to discover that the children are the physical size of adults and the adults are as small as children. Their minds remain what they were, but the difference in physical size changes everything.
I’d love to know if anyone else ever heard of this book.
I have this novel on my mind right now because I just answered a question on Facebook posed by one of my blogger friends about what book/s I read more than 10 years ago that I would recommend. As I thought about my answer, I realized that my taste in reading matter is not very sophisticated.
The two books I listed in my answer were The City Not Long After, which is really a young adult novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed “watching” the surreal machinations of young artists as they use their magic to save the city of San Francisco. I still own my 1990 paperback copy of that book.
The other book is If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him. That book was given to me at a very low point in my life and it helped me turn my life around. Maybe it spoke to me because Sheldon Kopp, the author, was a psychotherapist who understood the power of story to stir insight and understanding.
The part of the book I remember most was his comparing people on this planet to those in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Like them, we are all pilgrims, and we survive emotionally by telling our stories to each other.
I guess that’s why a lot of us blog.
P.S. Sheldon Kopp was the one who originated the eschatological laundry list that still surfaces in emails. These are the first few:
1. This is it!
2. There are no hidden meanings.
3. You can’t get there from here, and besides, there’s no place else to go.
4. We are all already dying and we’ll be dead for a long time.
5. Nothing lasts!
6. There is no way of getting all you want.
7. You can’t have anything unless you let go of it.
8. You only get to keep what you give away.
9. There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune.
11. You have the responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
12. It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
13. You don’t really control anything.
14. You can’t make someone love you.

2 thoughts on “I know I didn’t dream this

  1. The book you’re looking for is “The Chilekings” by *Jessamyn* West, and you probably read it in the Bal-Hi Edition. Plenty of copies around second hand; check Alibris or abebooks. Now I’m gonna have to go downstairs and dig out my copy. I haven’t read it in years but I remember it fondly. (Yeah, it’s more novelette length.)

  2. Wow! This is why I love blogging. That’s the book, and now I can track down a copy.

    And apparently the person who left the comment above is someone who has written a couple of Star Trek episodes and a lot more. Check out her home page. I don’t know how she stumbled on my weblog, but now I’m going to link around her site and find out more about her.

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