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Johnny and the Bomb (Johnny Maxwell, #3)
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Johnny and the Bomb

(Johnny Maxwell #3)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  7,612 ratings  ·  253 reviews
Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This has never been more true than when he finds himself in his hometown on May 21, 1941, over forty years before his birth!

An accidental time traveler, Johnny knows his history. He knows England is at war, and he knows that on this day German bombs will fall on the town. It happened
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Hardcover, 246 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by HarperCollins (first published 1996)
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Ruysan The reader finally finds out that there is a place (in time) where you can have fish and chips for a sixpence and still get change.
Ruysan Johnny goes back home in the new leg of the trousers of time where people didn't die because of bombs dropped on a street in his hometown.…moreJohnny goes back home in the new leg of the trousers of time where people didn't die because of bombs dropped on a street in his hometown.(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,612 ratings  ·  253 reviews


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Melissa McShane
This third volume in the Johnny Maxwell trilogy is the most ambitious, tackling the subject of time travel in a funny and at the same time thoughtful way. Johnny and his friends find the bag lady Mrs. Tachyon apparently mugged on the street, and in getting her medical care are stuck with her shopping cart full of squishy, disturbingly motile garbage bags. The thing is, her bags are apparently stuffed with Time, and in messing with them, Johnny and Kirsty (who keeps changing her name) and then th ...more
Dane Cobain
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve always been a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Johnny Maxwell series – they were written and published during what I’d consider to be his golden years, and what’s interesting about the Johnny Maxwell books is that they’re set in our reality.

In this book, Johnny and his friends take a trip back in time after finding a magic, time-travelling trolley that belongs to the local bag lady. That allows Pratchett to experiment with genre, by writing a sort of realistic fantasy, which has some grounding in h
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B.  Barron
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Beware the trousers of time.
Kevin
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unfortunately read a North American edition so words like cookie and trash were incongruously appearing in wartime England. Good luck getting anything sensible dialling 911 as well! References to The Thunderbirds and Flowerpot Men were left intact so surely the American reader would have had much less trouble with biscuit and rubbish! All that aside, this was a gentle Pratchett romp with sly humour at many turns.
Marta
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The third and last Johnny Maxwell book is about time travel, and all the mind-bending possibilities and different trouser legs of time. It is entertaining, the kids’ dialogue is silly and quirky, but the most value for a Discworld fan is seeing the ideas emerge that pop up in Pratchett’s other books. “Trousers legs of time” shows ip in Jingo, that I just finished, relating to a confused Disorganizer. Time travel, of course, occurs in several other books, like Nightwatch and Thief of Time. And th ...more
Nicky
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
It's Terry Pratchett's doing, so of course it's fun. It plays around with the idea of time travel in a way that doesn't break my brain too much, which I can accept easily enough to drag me along for the ride. I'm told it's not the first book in the series, though, and it shows: I would probably have cared more if, well, I'd already cared.

I'm not really sure what to say about it. I was quite excited to get a Terry Pratchett book on my course, but now I've got it, I don't think I'm going to write
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Keith  Blodgett
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Aww. . . It's over. Johnny Maxwell was an interesting and complex character that, I guess, just wasn't viable enough to keep going. It makes me sad because I've become invested in these characters. Gave them life in my head like adding your breath to a golem. Sadly it happens.
So. . . This is probably the weakest of the series, especially if you look at it from a kid's eye. There's some seriously brain twisting time paradox content here. It can make your brain wake up in the middle of the night a
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Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Johnny Maxwell finds old Mrs. Tachyon, a bag lady, in the cinema, and he learns that her grocery cart is, in fact, a time machine. Johnny and his friends go back in time to 1941 when his town was accidentally struck with German bombs and many people were killed. One of Johnny's friends is left behind in 1941, and they make plans to return for him.

Stories about time travel are always fun, I think, and this one is not only a story about time travel but it's also written by the masterfully funny Te
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Christopher Mills
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember watching the series on TV when I was younger with Zoe Wanamaker but never got around to reading the book. Pleased I have, although I must say it felt a little rushed at times... I guess that's what you get with a children's book and not wanting to make it too long...

Good read none the less
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Alex  Baugh
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-2
Today I am revisiting my very first blogs posts here and on my other blog Randomly Reading. It isn't because I haven't been reading, I have actually read lots of blogable books lately. I just thought it would be fun to see this again. And I still love it as much now as I did on all subsequent readings of it.

So here's what I wrote on June 11, 2010:

Life isn’t terribly exciting in Blackbury, England in 1996 until 21 May 1941, the night of the Blackberry Blitz and the destruction of Paradise Street,
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colleen the convivial curmudgeon
2.5

Pratchett has covered a lot of ground in this trilogy: aliens and war, ghosts and our connections to our past, and time-travel and, um, war again.

Perhaps it's because, as I said in my review for Johnny and the Dead. I would pick ghosts over aliens - or time-travel - or perhaps that story just resonated more for me for some other reason, but it as definitely my favorite of the lot. I think this one would come in second.

It didn't quite have the same level of humor or pathos has the second book,
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Paul
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third and final Johnny Maxwell book although I wasn't aware until after I'd got part way through. Luckily the books read as stand alones featuring recurring characters and the only thing that progresses in a chronological order is the situation happening behind the closed door of Johnny's home.
There were still some social comments that gave food for thought in this one, how racism is treated and its use has changed over the years (some would say not a lot these days) and how events from the
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Jared
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
The third book in Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell series starts out with a bang. Literally. A bomb has fallen in the midst of Johnny's city. But the bomb dropped in World War II. Johnny discovers the history of the bomb and can't stop thinking about the people affected by it. One of the people affected by it ends up in Johnny's time -- the local bag lady, who is so mentally and temporally displaced that sometimes her body follows along.

Johnny and one of his friends help the lady get to the hosp
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Rosie Powell
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My brother's birthday is today, and as I was wrapping this book (and a few others) I thought '...I haven't read this since I was twelve...' So I'm reading it again. I love Mrs Tachyon. I really need to stop reading children's books. However, it's interesting to see how Pratchett's writing has advanced. His style is terribly similar, but the plots and characters are less complicated and far less clever. Anyway, I'm sure my brother is going to love it. ...more
Debbie
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I started with this book because I didn't realize it was the third in a trilogy. It is enjoyable as a stand alone, but I might read the first two volumes anyway because I liked it. I enjoyed the humour and social commentary. Although it's not one of Pratchett's best books, it's a great introduction to him for middle grade reader. ...more
Chip
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The first half of the book is pretty bad. The humor doesn't work and there is so little detail. But once Johnny takes control, the story starts to improve quite a bit. I don't think I enjoyed the book as much as some of Pratchett's others. Very interesting way of traveling thru time. ...more
Magda
Jun 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Millenium hand and shrimp!
Lolliepop
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Like it!

Best quote:

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable.”
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Trish
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have given this the highest rating out of the trilogy as it was fleshed out more. The story, again, follows Johnny and his friends.

The mini-history lesson is done well and explained in terms where children can understand and follow.

I enjoyed all of the friends but Kirsty. Her "intelligence" just has her appear snobbish. Also, she doesn't seem to learn anything to grow. I especially enjoyed when Yo-less put her in her place. Granted, they are children, but she was very unlikable. On top of th
...more
Melissa
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
I can’t say I would have stuck with this YA trilogy on my own, but I’m glad I read them with a reading group. Johnny always has the craziest adventures, this time with time travel & the repercussion that can occur when you mess with time.... plus surprisingly I found parts still very topical considering Yo-less experiences causal racism, it being written off as “they don’t know any better” and then used to inform Kirsty when she experiences the same with sexism. They might not know any better, b ...more
Lois
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-harder
Read for the 'read the last book in a series' challenge from Book riot's read harder challenge 2020. Glad I chose a children's book, and even gladder than I chose Sir Terry Pratchett! This is perfectly cosy, intelligent and coy, with the standard humor and pathos. It was quite useful to have read for this challenge, actually, as not being familiar with the series didn't detract from my enjoyment and honestly, I can't work out what books 1 or 2 would have been about anyway. ...more
Eva
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
HAVE I MENTIONED i love johnny maxwell?
Kristy
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one is pretty odd and difficult to follow at times. Time travel is like that I suppose. It is a fun story
Tilly_2009
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
I Very boring tiring and I hate this book the only bit I like is 1000 adventure everything else was just things that boys were like no girls like me
Paul
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-comedy
These books are a light reading treasure for any fan of Pratchett
Like all of his Y/A books, he doesn't dumb them down so much his regular fans can't read them.
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Aidan O'malley
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Johnny and the bomb," by Terry Pratchett, is a superb book about a young boy, Johnny, who mysteriously wakes up over forty years before he was even born.The date is May 21, 1941, the day German bombs drop on his hometown. Thanks to the knowledge he has gained during school, he quickly realizes this. Johnny is stuck in a huge position whether or not to warn the civilians living there now and save their lives, or let history take its place and have to witness everybody die. This book was well wri ...more
Kaylee
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
In this book, Johnny and friends end up time-traveling, first by accident, then purposely to make things right. The time travel made sense, and I liked the concept of the Trousers of Time; I think it's a good way of explaining how timelines branch out.

And, as always, Pratchett makes the story a lot of fun with his wit and humor, while simultaneously exploring serious ideas. In this case, the main idea is that, with or without time travel, everything we do has an effect on the future, so let's d
...more
Molokov
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This volume of the Johnny Maxwell trilogy edges out being the best, if only because Johnny's friends get to be part of the action this time around, whereas they were more on the periphery before. The time travel element is well done (and explained), although it's not really what this book is about - which is more about ordinary people coping with the horrors of war. Hopefully it was instrumental in getting 90's kids to understand a little about what their grandparents went through in World War I ...more
Lea
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, time-travel
While I didn't enjoy this book as much as others Pratchett has written, I will say this: he doesn't dummy anything down for kids. I usually have to look up a word or two in every one of his 'children's novels' and in "Johnny and the bomb', the logic involved in this time travel is mental aerobics, to say the least. I might have enjoyed this more in a different mood. ...more
Michael
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terry-pratchett
Definitely my favorite out of the Johnny Maxwell trilogy. This comical tale follows Johnny and friends traveling backwards and forwards (and sometimes around) in time to 1941 around the time of the Blackbury Blitz. This story is a funny story with a great plot and is well worth a read.
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i
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Other books in the series

Johnny Maxwell (3 books)
  • Only You Can Save Mankind (Johnny Maxwell, #1)
  • Johnny and the Dead (Johnny Maxwell, #2)

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