Who wrote this book and when?
James Hilton wrote this book and published it in book form in 1934.

Has there been a film version?
A great many, the two major motion picture versions in 1939 and 1969 both were nominated for Academy Awards.

Who are the important characters?
Mr. Chips – a teacher at a boys’ school during Victorian England

What’s it about?
This book is the recollections of Mr. Chipping, more fondly known as Mr. Chips, as he thinks back over his life and years teaching at the Brookfield School for Boys. Mr. Chips manages to remain involved at the school for decades, either as a teacher, a temporary headmaster, or even just a friend to the boys who attend. He is one of the few teachers to remain steadfast during the Great War and impacts hundreds of lives of young men who pass through Brookfield’s doors – despite deep personal tragedy in his own life.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
I think mainly because of the movies, but the story is touching and strangely reminiscent of a one sided “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

Do I recommend you read this book?
Yes. It’s sweet and funny and not too long.

How did this book make my list?
I spotted it on the shelf at my LL, and didn’t know the movie had been based on a book – so I picked it up.

Has it won any awards?
Not by itself, but like I said the movies won awards.

Favorite quotes:
“It was a service that gave him freedom to be supremely and completely himself.” – p 55

Anything else?
I will now have to watch this movie.

Personal thoughts:
This is a wonderful little pick up and read book. Mr. Chips represents the type of teacher everyone hopes to get – caring and funny. He also doesn’t skimp on the education, with tough standards and no allowance for slacking. This is a great heartfelt read on the Victorian era schooling as it was brutally thrust into the horrors of World War I and how one man dealt with it as he watched boys he loved die and tried to preserve the school he’d come to love. I can see how this could be made into a wonderful movie, and I can’t wait to watch it.

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