Johnny and the Bomb (Johnny Maxwell Trilogy #3)

Johnny and the Bomb (Johnny Maxwell Trilogy #3)

by Terry Pratchett

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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. It's history. And as Johnny and his friends quickly discover, tampering with history can have unpredictable—and drastic—effects on the future.

But letting history take its course means letting people die. What if Johnny warns someone and changes history? What will happen to the future? If Johnny uses his knowledge to save innocent lives by being in the right place at the right time, is he doing the right thing?

Mixing nail-biting suspense with outrageous humor, Terry Pratchett explores a classic time-travel paradox in Johnny Maxwell's third adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061975202
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Series: Johnny Maxwell Trilogy Series , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 127,497
File size: 697 KB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Johnny and the Bomb (SNY)

Chapter One

After the Bombs

It was nine o'clock in the evening, in Blackbury High Street.

It was dark, with occasional light from the full moon behind streamers of worn-out cloud. The wind was from the southwest and there had been another thunderstorm, which freshened the air and made the cobbles slippery.

A police sergeant moved, very slowly and sedately, along the street.

Here and there, if someone was very close, they might have seen the faintest line of light around a blacked-out window. From within came the quiet sounds of people living their lives...the muffled notes of a piano as someone practiced scales, over and over again, and the murmur and occasional burst of laughter from the radio.

Some of the shop windows had sandbags piled in front of them. A poster outside one shop urged people to Dig for Victory, as if it were some kind of turnip.

On the horizon, in the direction of Slate, the thin beams of searchlights tried to pry bombers out of the clouds.

The policeman turned the corner and walked up the next street, his boots seeming very loud in the stillness.

The beat took him up as far as the Methodist chapel, and in theory would then take him down Paradise Street, but it didn't do that tonight because there was no Paradise Street anymore. Not since last night.

There was a truck parked by the chapel. Light leaked out from the tarpaulin that covered the back.

He banged on it.

"You can't park that 'ere, gents," he said. "I fine you one mug of tea and we shall say no more about it, eh?"

The tarpaulin was pushed back and a soldier jumped out. Therewas a brief vision of the interior...a warm tent of orange light, with a few soldiers sitting around a little stove, and the air thick with cigarette smoke.

The soldier grinned.

"Give us a mug and a wad for the sergeant," he said to someone in the truck.

A tin mug of scalding black tea and a brick-thick sandwich were handed out.

"Much obliged," said the policeman, taking them. He leaned against the truck.

"How's it going, then?" he said. "Haven't heard a bang."

"It's a twenty-five-pounder," said the soldier. "Went right down through the cellar floor. You lot took a real pounding last night, eh? Want a look?"

"Is it safe?"

"Course not," said the soldier cheerfully. "That's why we're here, right? Come on." He pinched out his cigarette and put it behind his ear.

"I thought you lot'd be guarding it," said the policeman.

"It's dark, and it's been pouring," said the soldier. "Who's going to steal an unexploded bomb?"

"Yes, but . . ." The sergeant looked in the direction of the ruined street.

There was the sound of bricks sliding.

"Someone is, by the sound of it," he said.

"What? We've got warning signs up!" said the soldier. "We only knocked off for a brew-up! Oi!"

Their boots crunched on the rubble that had been strewn across the road.

"It is safe, isn't it?' said the sergeant.

"Not if someone drops a dirty great heap of bricks on it, no! Oi! You!"

The moon came out from behind the clouds. They could make out a figure at the other end of what remained of the street, near the wall of the pickle factory.

The sergeant skidded to a halt.

"Oh, no," he whispered. "It's Mrs. Tachyon."

The soldier stared at the small figure that was dragging some sort of cart through the rubble.

"Who's she?"

"Let's just take it quietly, shall we?" said the sergeant, grabbing his arm.

He shone his flashlight and set his face into a sort of mad friendly grin.

"That you, Mrs. Tachyon?" he said. "It's me, Sergeant Bourke. Bit chilly to be out at this time of night, eh? Got a nice warm cell back at the station, yes? I daresay there could be a big hot mug of cocoa for you if you just come along with about that?"

"Can't she read all them warning signs? Is she mental?" said the soldier under his breath. "She's right by the house with the bomb in the cellar!"

"Yes . . . no . . . she's just different," said the sergeant. "Bit . . . touched." He raised his voice. "You just stay where you are, love, and we'll come and get you. Don't want you hurting yourself on all this junk, do we?"

"Here, has she been looting?" said the soldier. "She could get shot for that, pinching stuff from bombed-out houses!"

"No one's going to shoot Mrs. Tachyon," said the sergeant. "We know her, see? She was in the cells the other night."

"What'd she done?"

"Nothing. We let her nap in a spare cell in the station if it's a nippy night. I gave her sixpence and a pair of ole boots what belonged to me mum only yesterday. Well, look at her. She's old enough to be your granny, poor old biddy."

Mrs. Tachyon stood and watched them owlishly as they walked, very cautiously, toward her.

The soldier saw a wizened little woman wearing what looked like a party dress with layers of other clothes on top, and a woolly hat with a bobble on it. She was pushing a wire cart on wheels. It had a metal label on it.

"Tesco's," he said. "What's that?"

"Dunno where she gets half her stuff," muttered the sergeant.

The cart seemed to be full of black bags. But there were other things, which glittered in the moonlight.

"I know where she got that stuff," muttered the soldier. "That's been pinched from the pickle factory!"

"Oh, half the town was in there this morning," said the sergeant. "A few jars of gherkins won't hurt."

"Yeah, but you can't have this sort of thing. 'Ere, you! Missus! You just let me have a look at..."

He reached toward the cart.

Johnny and the Bomb (SNY)
. Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Johnny and the Bomb (Johnny Maxwell Trilogy #3) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the third in Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell trillogy, and while Only You Can Save Mankind is still my favorite, I loved this one too. Like all Pratchett, you'll get lovely layers of humor, a deep sense of humanity, and a fun, tightly woven plot. Recommende for all readers.
ironicqueery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I don't think the Johnny Maxwell books are as great as Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, I am disappointed that there are only three. With this last one, Johnny and the Bomb, the character of Johnny seems to really take shape and accept his "powers". It would be great to follow him on more adventures where is large imagination is so large, it escapes his head and turns real. As it is, however, the last book in this trilogy treats readers to a thoughtful look about time travel and World War II. Pratchett presents a diverse look about the issues that come up between the time travel and war. He delivers many thoughtful ideas that can ruminate in one's mind for quite a while. Overall, this is a wonderful series of books series of books that are more lesson oriented than the Discworld books, but still very enjoyable and contemplative.
julied on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my favorite of the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, Johnny crosses paths with Mrs. Tachyon, a bag lady who also is a time traveller. He and his friends travel back to WWII in their town with the predictable changing of time that must be fixed. However, instead of simply changing time back to its previous path, Johnny wants to prevent a bomb wiping out Paradise Street in the middle of the night. This necessitates a lot of maneuvering by the kids with the usual humorous Pratchett twists and turns along the way. I was surprised at what a page turner it became by the end as I stayed up way past bedtime to get Johnny and his pals home again.
caro488 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pratchet-Johnny and the Bomb-can the guys travel in time and alert the town before the bombs land?
lorelorn_2007 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pratchett starts off again by taking an off-the-cuff saying literally. What if you really had "bags of time"? What would you do? Where and when would you go? And if you had the chance to change something, would you?
Go4Jugular More than 1 year ago
Author Terry Pratchett brings the Johnny trilogy to a fully satisfying close with this final book. A thoughtful protagonist you can't help rooting for, quirky supporting characters, witty dialogue, and solid plotting (including time travel!) showcase Pratchett's full talent. Though often categorized as Young Adult/Children's literature, these books, increasingly as the series progresses, absolutely can be enjoyed by adult fans of Pratchett (ala the Tiffany Aching series). One reads slower as the end of the book approaches, knowing that, at least for now, this is the last of a very enjoyable series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To the top reviewer, the prophet of yonwood was written decades after this book. To the reviewer directly below, I think this book was too old for you, and probably the wrong genre.
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Julie Moses More than 1 year ago
they totally copied the cover from the prophet of yonwood!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
The story I read was Johnny and the bomb. The author of this book is Terry Pratchett. The main characters name is Johnny Maxwell. Some of the other characters in this story are Yo-less, Bigmac, and Wobbler. This book didn't speak to me at all. The reason being is because it was a confusing and strange book. Also this book was not one of my favorite. This book did however spark my curiosity the reason it did is because when a bomb explodes I didn't quite get why it did and when it did. But the author (Terry Pratchett) did tell you later in the story but I don't want to ruin it by telling you now. This book did not inspire me, the reason this book was not inspiring to me is because it was to confusing. I feel this book was confusing because the author would be talking about one thing, then stop talking about it. Talk about something else, then go back and talk about the first thing. That is the reason why I thought this book was confusing. Another reason why this book was not inspiring is because it was not my type of book. The reason why it was not my type of book is because I normally like sports or mystery books. The last reason why I thought this book was not inspiring is because it was a strange and weird book. The reason I thought this book was like that is because this book had a bomb in a building and didn't have it guarded good.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In Blackbury, England twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell and his pal Bigmac find local bag lady Mrs. Tachyon badly hurt in an alley off High Street. He quickly dials 911 to get her help, and stores her shopping cart loaded with black garbage bags in his family garage until he can return them and her cat to her. --- However, Johnny and his buddies (Yo-less, Bigmac, Wobbler, and Kirsty) make a startling discovery about Mrs. Tachyon¿s bags. If they touch a bag they go back in time to whatever era that particular bag takes them to. Johnny sees a chance to change history over four decades ago on May 21, 1941, a German air raid killed several people on High Street. He and his pals decide to go back in time to save the lives of those who died on that fatal day. However they will soon learn the paradox of altering the past when Wobbler fails to return with them so the remaining time travelers try again and again as they have all the time in the world or at least until Mrs. Tachyon claims her bags. --- The third Johnny and the gang science fiction thriller (see ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND and JOHNNY AND THE DEAD) is the best of an excellent trilogy as the hero¿s cohorts seem so much more developed. The story line uses humor and not so subtle puns to provide the risks of fooling with tachyon particles to change history as the consequence can alter the present one pants leg at a time. Although Terry Pratchett targets young adult fans with this series, fans of all ages will enjoy JOHNNY AND THE BOMB as he and his teammates learn complex lessons about getting ¿lost in the trousers of time¿. --- Harriet Klausner Harriet Klausner