The Silver Sword by Ian Serrailler

The Silver Sword by Ian Serrailler

$19.99 USD

Title The Silver Sword

Author Ian Serraillier

Contributor Jane Serraillier

Publisher RHCP, 2012

ISBN 1446453138, 9781446453131

Length 208 pages

Subjects: Juvenile Fiction, Action & Adventure, General


This is the story of a Polish family during the Second World War and immediately afterwards. Joseph Balicki is the headmaster of a primary school in Warsaw; his wife is Swiss, and their three children, Ruth, Edek and Bronia, are 13, 11 and 3 years old when Joseph is arrested by the Nazis in 1940. Soon afterwards his wife is taken to forced labour in Germany, and his house is blown up. The children escape over the roofs before the explosion and join the gangs of orphans living in the ruins of the bombed city, existing as best they can. The 'silver sword' is only a paper-knife, but it is the talisman that, after the Germans have been driven out of Warsaw, gives Ruth, Edek and Bronia the hope and courage to make an astonishing journey across Europe. Accompanied by their friend, the fierce and resourceful Jan, they reach a refugee camp on the shores of Lake Constance and are reunited with their parents.


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 extraordinarily moving account of an epic journey gives a remarkable insight into the reality of a Europe laid waste by war.

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.

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