Lost Horizon by James Hilton (1933)

I’m sure you’ve heard the melodious name Shangri-la before, but did you know it comes from the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton?  I bet you feel smarter already!

Lost Horizon.jpg

Four American embassy workers crash-land a private plane in the wilds of Tibet.  Under the direction of a mysterious Chinese guide, they enter the hidden Buddhist monastery  of Shangri-la.  Here, in this remote mountainous region, they inexplicably find many modern conveniences including a beautiful grand piano, indoor central heating, an impressive library of Western thought and even modern bathtubs manufactured in Ohio!

Life in Shangri-la is, for the most part, peaceful and mildly productive.  But this monastery has some confusing secrets that begin to emerge.  Who are these strange people?  Where have they come from?  How OLD are they?  Can the Americans ever leave?  Lost Horizon introduces you to a secretive utopia that has captured the imaginations of millions!

Lost Horizon was the first modern paperback ever printed and has sold millions of copies in its nearly 100 years.  It’s been made into two Hollywood movies, the first in 1937 and the second in 1973.  And did you know, Camp David was originally named Shangri-la by President Franklin D. Roosevelt?

James Hilton is also the author of Goodbye, Mr. Chips.  You probably read that one back in high school!

Middle to High School reading level, 140 pages, Adventure, Utopia, Published 1933.


About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
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