Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Hilton, James. Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Charleston: Acra Foundation, 2013.

Reason read: National Education Week is in November.

When one thinks of Goodbye, Mr. Chips I am sure they are transported back to movies like Dead Poet’s Society and Mr. Holland’s Opus, two movies very similar in nature to Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Mr. Chips, the much loved teacher and sometime acting Head of Brookfield was devoted to his students and loved teaching them with a passion. Even when the boarding school tried to get him to retire they were unsuccessful. How do you rid yourself of pillar of the institution?

My favorite Mr. Chips quote: “In my mind you never grow up at all” (p 42). I chose this line because of Natalie Merchant (it’s her birthday). In the song How You’ve Grown she sings, “in my mind you’re frozen as the child you will never be again”. She and Mr. Chips share the longing that those they care for should remain forever innocent.

As an aside, I am always leery of reading boarding school stories. I guess I am too afraid of making comparisons to my own experiences having attended one.

Author fact: Hilton also wrote Hollywood screenplays.

Book trivia: Goodbye, Mr. Chips is so popular it has been made into two different movies and one television show.

BookLust Twist: this book was mentioned three times by Nancy Pearl. First, in Book Lust in the chapters called “100 Good Reads, Decade By Decade (1930s)” (p 176) and “Teachers and Teaching Tales” (p 230), and again in More Book Lust in the chapter called “Nevil Shute: Too Good To Miss” (p 198). Obviously, Goodbye, Mr. Chips was not written by Nevil Shute so it doesn’t really belong in the chapter.



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