• Title: The Silver Sword
  • Author: Ian Serraillier
  • ISBN: 9780099439493
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Silver Sword The classic tale of a journey through war torn Europe Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by World War Two Jan and his three homeless friends cling to the silver sword as a symbol
    The classic tale of a journey through war torn Europe.Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by World War Two, Jan and his three homeless friends cling to the silver sword as a symbol of hope As they travel through Europe towards Switzerland, where they believe they will be reunited with their parents, they encounter many hardships and dangers This extraThe classic tale of a journey through war torn Europe.Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by World War Two, Jan and his three homeless friends cling to the silver sword as a symbol of hope As they travel through Europe towards Switzerland, where they believe they will be reunited with their parents, they encounter many hardships and dangers This extraordinarily moving account of an epic journey gives a remarkable insight into the reality of a Europe laid waste by war.

    One Reply to “The Silver Sword”

    1. I first read Ian Serraillier’s novel The Silver Sword when I was 12. All these years later I had vague memories of what the story was about, but very vivid memories of having loved it. We read it in school and so it wasn’t a book that I’d actually come across elsewhere. One day, while perusing the selection at Book Closeouts I came across the book and decided to order it. I wondered, after all these years, if it would stand up. Some childhood books do and some don’t.The Silver Sword is t [...]

    2. The Silver Sword is the story of the Balicki family, Joseph and his Swiss wife Margrit and his daughter Ruth, 13, and Bronia, 3, and son, Edek, 11. In 1940, they are living in a Warsaw suburb in Poland during the Nazi occupation of that country, where Joseph is the headmaster in a primary school. One day while teaching, Joseph turns a picture of Hitler so it faced the wall. His action is reported to the Nazi authorities by a student. Joseph is arrested and sent to a prison camp in Zakyna. He spe [...]

    3. The Silver Sword is an epic tale of a family who were separated when the Nazi’s invaded Poland in 1940. The story centres on the Balicki family, who consisted of the mother Margrit, the father Joseph and their 3 young children; Ruth, Bronia and Edek. With their father taken to a prison camp and their mother captured as a slave, the three children were left to fend for them self in a country ravaged by the Nazis. The name of the book, ‘The Silver Sword’ is significant, as this sword belonge [...]

    4. Based on a true story, this novel is the story of four children travelling through war-ravaged Europe during World War Two. I first read this novel while I was in secondary school and I recently found it again in a box of old books when I was cleaning out my attic. I remembered loving it back when I was 13 but I didn't remember much of the plot so I decided to re-read the novel.The characters are all well developed from the children themselves to the various characters they meet on their journey [...]

    5. Definitely a classic. A fast moving and personal account of Polish children searching for their parents who had been taken from them in World War II. In my opinion it's a more engaging read than I Am David.

    6. I bought The Silver Sword on my dad's recommendation, after he mentioned he'd read it many years ago in Secondary school. It made a lasting impression on him, and is a book he'll remember reading for the rest of his life.To a child, this book and its story would be both horrifying and fascinating. It's a simple, short look at a family ravaged by war, and the lengths they'll go to to be reunited. It was first published in 1956, and because of this, it's very different to contemporary fiction. It [...]

    7. I absolutly loved this book. I couldn't put it down, even when I was supposed to be doing my chores. Oh well. Anyway this story was originally called The Silver Sword and if you read this book you will find out why. I loved how these three children and a friend make thier way to Switzerland from Warsaw just to get back to their family, but also keep in mind that there is also a war raging on. Wow can you imagine. This is in a way kind of like the european version of the underground railroad if y [...]

    8. I read this book under its English title, 'The Silver Sword', but couldn't find this on so had to review under the US title.The story begins with the escape of Polish headteacher Joseph Balicki from a Nazi prison camp in the early 1940s, at the height of the Second World War. After a year unfairly imprisoned for refusing to display a picture of Hitler in his school, he has managed to escape. Over a matter of weeks, Joseph makes his way back to his home city of Warsaw, Poland with help from an e [...]

    9. I recently read the book 'The Silver Sword' by Ian Serraillier, through school. I really underestimated this book by the cover! ( The phrase - 'Never judge a book by its cover' proves correct! ) Because I ended up really enjoying travelling the journey of the war stricken world with Jan and the Balakis. I felt a sense of understanding for these young soals travelling the journey to Switzerland unaccompanied by family bar themselves. It made me appreciate the world and people for who and what the [...]

    10. Found this on a list of children's classics, read with daughter (11). The story of a Polish family, broken apart in WWII. The first several chapters are about the father, who escapes from prison and heads for relatives in Switzerland after returning to a rubble-strewn Warsaw. While there, he doesn't find his family but does find a young boy, who takes a Silver Sword (really a letter opener) as a token to prove who he is should he find the other children. The rest of the story is about his three [...]

    11. I adored this book as a child and I still adore it now. Maybe it was something to do with being the eldest child (with a younger brother and sister) that ensured I fully empathised with the main character Ruth, the would be teacher. Great characterisation and storytelling meant that it was a book I could not put down and also one I would re-read over and over again. For a book set in such a difficult context (WW2) I strangely found it a comforting read and would often turn to it when feeling fed [...]

    12. This was a great book. I love learning as much as I can about war and the hardships people went through during war. Joseph Baliki has three kids Ruth, Edek and Bronia. They have a swish mother but live in Poland. Joseph is a school master before the war but is taken away from his school and family. A few days later the Nazi's come back for Mrs. Baliki. The children have to escape before the Nazi's come back for them. I wish there was a movie to go along with the book. It could be a nice movie if [...]

    13. Read this while at school in high school. My class had a lot of students whose parents had emigrated to Australia after the war and I believe that the school put this on the reading list to foster understanding and tolerance. Quite a few students were also struggling with the new language and although this was written for younger students in mind I think it was a good choice at the time. I wonder how it would stand up to a re-read, remember liking it and looking forward to the discussions about [...]

    14. I really liked this tale which is surprising since not everyone reds these kind o books these days. It has a gripping tale and characters that shine in their own ways. It features hardships, courage and determination in the souls of children as their desperate longing for their parents and their solo willpower help them journey to Switzerland. I recommend this very much.

    15. When I was younger I went through a World War 2 stage and read any children's book about the era that I could. "Escape From Warsaw" was undoubtedly my FAVORITE. I read it, and then read it to my siblings and then read it to myself again (and I am not one to re-read a book).Another book I would suggest is "When the Sirens Wailed" by Noel Streatfeild

    16. I never read this book as a child. It's a great story, a mix of adventure, history, the rudeness and the amazing serendipity of life and the beautiful people you meet along the way. The portrayal of the family bond was comforting.

    17. This is one of those books that I read as a child, maybe 9 years old, and loved enough to have remembered it ever since. So 5 stars!

    18. The Silver Sword is a story featuring the Balicki family that's based on true events during the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1940 during WW2. The family become separated when the father is taken to a prison camp for refusing to put up a portrait of Hitler in the school classroom that he works in, and the mother is taken by the Gestapo in the middle of the night. This terrifying situation leaves behind the three Balicki children (aged 13, 11 and 3), who must now try to survive in a country that i [...]

    19. I first discovered this book, under a different title (Escape From Warsaw in fourth grade, and have loved it ever since. Re-reading it as an adult hasn't diminished that love. Ruth, Bronia, Edek and Jan make their way through a destroyed post World War II Europe from Poland to Switzerland, in search of their lost father and mother. Along the way, they are helped by soldiers and civilians from all sides of the conflict - a Russian, a British officer, a German farmer, and an American soldier and s [...]

    20. scape from Warsaw is a children's war story, and written less than a decade after the end of WWII. This lends a certain immediacy to the story which is, I think, offset for modern readers by the somewhat distancing style. We are accustomed nowadays to children's books depicting war, suffering, and despair with the same gritty realism that we (and the kids) see on the evening news. Oddly, in this period so soon after so many children had lived through events most of us can't even imagine, few wri [...]

    21. THE SILVER SWORD (US title: Escape From Warsaw). (1956; this ed. 2012). Ian Serrailler. ****. This is a classic YA novel, primarily in England, although it has been published in the U.S. under a different title. Ian Serrailler (1912-1984) was a school teacher and published several books for children and collections of poetry. This edition was from The Folio Society and contains an introduction by Anne Fine, an afterword by Jane Serraillier, and illustrations by Raul Allen. It is a simple story o [...]

    22. When I was young, the book I nearly read most often was 'The Silver Sword'. It was on the shelves of every library I visited (and I visited a lot of libraries when I was young) and, because its author's surname began with 'S' like Malcolm Saville, a favourite of mine, I'd always see it there, pull it out, read the blurb again and, always, decide, 'No, I don't think I will read this.' I think what threw me was the disconnect between the title, which suggested magical realms and dragons and all so [...]

    23. I added this apparently well-beloved children's classic to my to-read list because it was recommended by one of my internet friends, Amy. I had never heard of it before, but according to the cover this is the 50th Golden Anniversary Edition that I read--it is a classic though an old one.This is going to be a very short review because there's not much I can say about it. The Silver Sword is certainly a good book, an excellent children's book. I know I definitely would have enjoyed it as a child-- [...]

    24. "Escape From Warsaw" is a fairly fast paced book following the Balicki Family: Joseph (the father), Margrit (the mother), Ruth (the eldest sister), Edek (the middle brother), and Bronia (the youngest sister) as well as Jan, a young boy who seems to be orphaned. The tale takes you throughout Germany, Poland, and Switzerland during WW2. After Joseph balicki is captured and sent to concentration camp, and escapes, and Margrit is taken away by Nazis, the three remaining children of the family embark [...]

    25. Four child refugees hide out in Warsaw at the end of the WW2. When it is finally over they set out on a journey across Poland and Germany to Switzerland, where they hope to meet their father, who escaped from a Nazi prisoner of war camp earlier on in the war.I remember reading this book as a child and finding it very enjoyable and exciting. The book is a great adventure story that gives a lot of social history to kids about life as a child refugee in destroyed post-war Europe. At the time it was [...]

    26. I have a very soft spot for this book. I read it when I was around 11 and remember gradually realising that it was a book about Polish children. I was born in the UK but my parents were both Polish and with a strong cultural identity, and they had both lived through WWII. Reading this book was great: I was at an age where I just wanted to be assimilated into English culture and here was an excellent English book about a Polish experience. It allowed me to validate my Polish heritage as it equall [...]

    27. I had my doubts about this book in the beginning, especially at the point where Joseph makes an almost ludicrous and highly unlikely getaway, but the book gets better. Serraillier's book is meant to be at once an historical and a literary book. It is a great book to use to introduce children to WWII, as this book portrays the challenging reality of the war and its refugees without the graphic violence and abject horror of more recent works. It also invites literary analysis of theme, motif, char [...]

    28. Finished reading this with Charlie, who read some chapters himself (took it out and about with him and couldn't put it down) and some together at bedtime. He loved the characters, I rediscovered the atmosphere of flight, resourcefulness and the kindness of strangers, and Charlie learned a lot of history! He is truly round eyed and horrified at some of the events and consequences of WWII (the most serious of which I've held back, obviously, because he's still only eight years old) - and he's righ [...]

    29. This is a great WWII era book that is based upon true accounts. Unfortunately, the story just fell flat for me. I know that the things that happen in the book really happened, but I wish the characters were better developed. I wasn't emotionally attached to them and I couldn't picture them as living, breathing human beings with feelings and emotions. I think that in order to truly understand their plight, you have to care about them and it was hard for me to do that because it seemed like they d [...]

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