Thursday, February 09, 2006

Narration: Escape from Warsaw by Ian Serralier

Scholastic, 218 pages, softcover
ISBN: 0590437151

Ruth, Edek and Bronia were children who lived in Warsaw, Poland, at the beginning of World War II. Their father got taken away to a concentration camp, but before he left he told his family to meet him in Switzerland. One night the Germans came and took their mother, so the children had to take care of themselves. In the summer they lived in the forest and in the winter they would go back and live in a cellar of a bombed house in Warsaw. Next Edek got taken away to work for the Germans.

During that time Warsaw got completely destroyed (because of the Warsaw uprising) and around that time Ruth and Bronia had to live in the forest even in the winter.

After several years the father escaped, but when he got back to Warsaw, he found that his house was gone. He met a boy named Jan and left him with a message (that he was safe and going to Switzerland) and a Silver Sword (which was a special paper knife he had given to his wife, and would prove that Jan met their father).

Sometime later on, Ruth found Jan hurt in the street and took care of him. Jan told them about meeting their father. The three of them (Ruth, Bronia and Jan) decided to leave the city together to head towards Switzerland even though they didn't know where Edek was.

Along the way they were eating at a restaurant when they met Edek, who had escaped from the Germans. He told them the story later that he escaped by hanging on to the underside of a train! When he was under the train, it went through a big puddle. He got wet and then froze to the train. So, by the time he found his sisters, he was sick. By this time the war was over.

I just looked at a map of Europe and found that they traveled about 750 miles from Warsaw, Poland, to Lake Constance on the border of Germany and Switzerland! They traveled by boat , truck and train, but mostly on foot. It took them months to get there and the trip was very hard and dangerous. After a stormy ride across the lake, they were reunited with their father and their mother (who had been in a concentration camp for years, but found by their father).

I really liked this story. It was really exciting and sometimes funny.

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