Chris Colfer Hopes New Sci-Fi Book Teaches Kids 'How Pointless and Primitive Prejudice Is'

Chris Colfer wants to teach his young readers to find the good in what's different

Published Time: 08.06.2024 - 19:31:19 Modified Time: 08.06.2024 - 19:31:19

Chris Colfer wants to teach his young readers to find the good in what's different.

His new book, Roswell Johnson Saves the World!, follows a young boy who teams up with an eccentric group of aliens to save Earth.

The Glee star, 34, is no stranger to the fantasy young adult genre with the success of his previous book series The Land of Stories, which began in 2012 and continued for six books.

He is even more acquainted with the idea of alien life which, he tells PEOPLE, has fascinated him since he was a child and saw one at the foot of his bed one evening when he was sick.

"I remember as soon as I laid eyes on it, I wasn't afraid. I knew it was only there to check on me. And it faded away a few seconds later," he says, while noting that it could’ve just been a "hallucination or sleep paralysis."

Now, Colfer has set out to challenge the general perception of extraterrestrials and to teach a valuable lesson about open-mindedness.

"After seeing Roswell interact with all these aliens of different colors and backgrounds and shapes and sizes and beliefs, and seeing them all work together for one common goal to save Earth, I hope it teaches them just how pointless and primitive prejudice is,” he says, of his young readers. "If I can plant those seeds early on, maybe when they're adults, they'll be more compassionate towards their fellow man.”

The author adds that he has "a lot of faith" in the new generations. "They're smarter than we were and they're much more compassionate than we were," he notes.

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While writing the book, Colfer considered what alien life -

could represent without adversity. "The amount of resources and unity it would take to create technology that is capable of traveling that far and that fast around our galaxy would mean that somebody out there got it right,” he says. "So, if someone out there got it, that means maybe we can get it right here."

The book, which came out from Little, Brown Books For Young Readers on June 4, is appropriate for ages 8 to 12 years old and is filled with imaginative black-and-white illustrations by Godwin Akpan, alongside real-life eyewitness accounts and scientific observations. 

An author’s note at the beginning of the book reads: "While some elements in this book are exaggerated for dramatic effect, all the science described in the story is based on actual astronomy, astrophysics, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology," and so forth. 

"It's actually the closest thing to a nonfiction book that I've written," Colfer says. "The majority of the eyewitness accounts and conspiracy theories that I talk about are all true, or based on real events and all the aliens I mention in the book are also from actual eyewitness accounts."

He found that doing research was the "best part" of writing the book, since he was able to share his lifelong fascination and the knowledge he has procured over the years. "I hope that after reading this book, I can get more kids interested in science."

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Roswell Johnson Saves the World! by Chris Colfer is available now, wherever books are sold.

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