Chris Colfer's New Sci-Fi Book Aims to Show Kids the Folly of Prejudice

Exploring cosmic unity through a child's imaginative journey

by Zain ul Abedin
Chris Colfer's New Sci-Fi Book Aims to Show Kids the Folly of Prejudice
© Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Chris Colfer's latest literary venture, "Roswell Johnson Saves the World! ", is more than just a children's book - it's a call to action against prejudice, wrapped in the guise of a thrilling sci-fi adventure. The author, acclaimed for his work on the hit TV show "Glee" and the best-selling young adult series "The Land of Stories," uses his new narrative to instil a profound message of compassion and understanding in young readers.

At the heart of the story is Roswell Johnson, a young boy who, along with a diverse band of aliens, embarks on a mission to save Earth. These extraterrestrials are allies and teachers of valuable lessons about unity and acceptance.

Colfer's characters come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, embodying different beliefs and backgrounds. Through their cooperative efforts, the author hopes to show his audience - predominantly children aged 8 to 12 - just how "pointless and primitive prejudice is."

In an interview with PEOPLE, Colfer shared insights into his childhood, marked by a fascination with alien life.

This interest deepened following a mysterious encounter he had as a child, an experience he described as either a "hallucination or sleep paralysis." This early experience with the unknown shaped his perspective on alien life, viewing it not as a threat, but as a potential check-in from a benign entity.

Science Meets Fiction

The book also explores the implications of advanced extraterrestrial technology, suggesting that the unity required to achieve such feats could serve as a model for human behavior on Earth. Colfer posits that if "someone out there got it right," then humanity has the potential to do the same.

"Roswell Johnson Saves the World!" is a narrative and an educational tool. Colfer incorporates actual scientific principles into the storyline, covering fields such as astronomy, biology, and chemistry, all vetted for accuracy against real scientific standards.

His inclusion of black-and-white illustrations by Godwin Akpan, alongside genuine eyewitness accounts and scientific observations, enriches the reader's experience.

Reflecting on the process of writing the book, Colfer revealed that his favorite part was the research.

His aim with this book is to ignite a passion for science among his readers, hoping to influence the next generation positively. He believes in these young minds, believing them to be "smarter and more compassionate" than previous generations.

Published by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, "Roswell Johnson Saves the World!" is currently available. It is a testament to Colfer's commitment to blending entertainment with education, aiming to foster a more informed and empathetic future generation.