In Canada as a child, probably in the mid-late 1960s, our school librarian read us a book about a child (boy I think) who when he became of a certain age was to be 'tapped' a metal tap would be inserted under his skin so he could be tracked by a superpower. 'Tapping' children at a certain age was the norm in this world and this story was about he tried to evade being tapped. Any idea of what the title of this book might have been or who the author was?


1 Answer 1


This may be The Tripods trilogy (1967-8) by John Christopher.

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Maturing children were "capped" to ensure their obedience to the alien invaders who'd conquered earth. The cap was a metal mesh (their head would be shaved for installation, hair would grow naturally through it afterwards). "Capped" humans would become docile and content with their relative servitude, and (IIRC) to some extent could become agents of the Tripods.

"...we stood out in the street in front of the church, waiting for the Tripod. The bells were ringing the Capping Peal, but apart from that all was quiet. No one talked or whispered or smiled. It was, we knew, a great experience for everyone who had been Capped.

(The White Mountains, page 16)

This series has been the subject of various other Story IDs here:

  • That was it, thanks so much,
    – user69033
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 14:34
  • @user69033: If so, please click on the checkmark by the voting buttons to accept it.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 15:07

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