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The Silver Sword Hardcover – June, 1959


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 187 pages
  • Publisher: S G Phillips (June 1959)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875991041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875991047
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Old-fashioned storytelling about courage at its best" -- Amanda Craig The Times "One of the most exciting books I've read for a long while" Daily Telegraph "This book is touched with greatness" Junior Bookshelf "One of the most remarkable children's books since 1945" Oxford Companion to Children's Literature "A mind-blowing and emotional read" -- Sally Bailey Essex Chronicle Series --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

A moving account of a journey through war-torn Europe.

Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by war, 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 text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Ian Serraillier (September 24, 1912 - November 28, 1994), was a British novelist and poet. Serraillier was best known for his children's books, especially the Silver Sword (Novel) (1956), a wartime adventure story which was adapted for television by the BBC in 1957 and again in 1971.

Born in London, Serraillier was educated at Brighton College, and took his degree at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He became an English teacher, first at World War II. It was during this period that his first published work appeared, in the form of poetry for both adults and children. In 1946 his first children's novel was published. It was followed by several more adventure stories of treasure and spies. His best known work, The Silver Sword, was published in 1956 and has become a classic, bringing to life the story of four refugee children and their search for their parents in the chaos of Europe immediately after World War II.

As well as children's novels and poetry, Serrailler produced his own retellings of classic tales, in prose and verse, including Beowulf, Chaucer and Greek myth. Together with his wife Anne he founded the New Windmill Series in 1948, published by Heinemann Educational Books, which set out to provide inexpensive editions of good stories. He continued as co-editor of the series until the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Customer Reviews

A book I first read as a child and wanted to read it again.
Babs
I had this book read to me by my teacher in primary school and read it again recently as an adult.
Spider Monkey
The story is captivating and really draws the reader into the book.
B.J.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I read this book several years ago, but still enjoy favorite reading it. Most books I never read twice, yet this book has transformed me into wanting to read it over and over again. It is a fascinating story of four young children, who over four years travel across Europe in search of their father. Their father, trapped in a prison, has finally escaped, yet to a Warsaw now reduced to little more than rubble. His home was bombed, and his children are missing. He meets Jan, a street urchin and orphan, who helps him "jump" a train.
Ruth, Edek, and their younger sister, the three children, now live across Warsaw waiting for their Father's return. When Edek, the only one with a 'job' (smuggling food) is sent to a labor camp, Ruth and her younger sister suffer. Finding the street urchin, Jan, is the only reason they were able to survive. He helps them leave their home, the small cellar of a bombed building in search of their father.
After finding Edek in his camp, and convincing the guards to let him go, they resume their dangerous journey. They find a kind farmer and his family, who lets them live on their farm. When a patrolman comes to the farm, the farmer sends the children in canoes down a river. Several Nazis, and trucks deporting 'border-jumpers' almost catch the canoeing children, and Jan's dog Ludwig.
They reach Switzerland, where they planned on meeting their parents. A new life and beginning await the three siblings, and Jan, the adopted son.
This was a beautiful story of love and devotion of a small, poor Polish family living during WWII. I definately recommend this book for those who want a wonderful story to read with their families.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Author is Ian Serraillier an it's published by Puffin.
The story is about a family that is seperated during the war and Joseph goes looking for his wife in Switzerland and a few years later the children go looking for there parents they are Ruth,Edek,Bronia and they find a kind helping follower that has got no parents and that is Jan.Jan is my favourite character cause he is daring.Ruth is my least favourite character cause all she does is just and worry.My favourite bit is when Jan gives Bistro the chimp a cigar.The least favourite bit is when the boat crash's.I would reccomend it to all ages from 5 to 13 year olds.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
I mistakenly checked this book out of the library when I was in 4th grade (1964), thinking it was going to be about knights ("The Silver Sword"). Imagine my surprise when, upon reading the first page, I discovered it was about a young boy (my age) separated from his family during WWII. Yet, even that first page sucked me in. I was not an avid, or even a good reader at that age, but I couldn't put it down, and finished the book in two days. I proceeded to check it out at least once a year until I could no longer find it in libraries. It was probably the single biggest reason I learned to love reading. My son is now in 4th grade, and I logged on to see if I could find it, and will make sure it becomes a part of his life as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I believe it was 1959 that this book was issued by the weekly readers book club. I wrote in the front of the book "the best book I ever read". I was an avid 10 year old reader. I highly recommend this book to age 10 and above. I will get the newly printed edition for my grandchildren. Thank you,Ian Serraillier. I still have my original copy. Sincerely, Teresa White
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gillsav1 on August 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What a book to remember! I first read this book when I was around 10 years old (1977), and then again a couple of years later. The book has stayed in my memory all this time and I've actually just today searched the net for more info(2000)! The previous reviews brought back the adventures of the Jan and the rest of the gang with such clarity - not bad for 20 odd years! I must admit, now I have the author's name once again, I'll be heading for the local library to brush off the cobwebs, and settle down to a rollercoaster of emotional bliss! Please, please, please - read this to your kids! They (and hopefully you) will love it!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Escape from Warsaw", Originally titled "The Silver Sword" was quite an enjoyable book. I raked through a bookshelf of mine, intending to select an appropriate book for a paper, and happened upon this book. Once I began reading, I wasn't able to put it down! It sparked a little voice in my head, beckoning me to finish the book. The story of the family's troubled times and separation are entrancing. Their strong-hearted will and determination for their reunion is admirable. I have recommended this book to several others alike myself, whom love a book to settle down with. I, surprisingly enough, would read this again and again over the years to come, and enjoy every moment of my well-spent time. Bravo! Magnificent! I absolutely adore this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In 1963 my 6th grade teacher read a chapter from this book to our class every day. We were completely engrossed in the story of these children and the sad adventure that they were forced to take in a world gone mad. Their childhood was lost at an early age but they managed to use their good sense and family loyalty to survive. I have recommended this book to other children who have also come to love it. I am happy to see it become available again after being out of print so long.
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