Monday, December 04, 2006

Book Review: Escape from Warsaw


I had to track this book down via interlibrary loan, but it was well worth it. The girls loved Escape from Warsaw, by Ian Serraillier, so much that they've asked for their own copies for Christmas.

Escape from Warsaw tells the story of the fictional Balicki children (though the book is based on true events.) As the book opens, their father has been imprisoned by the Nazis. We learn the background of his imprisonment and then read of his escape. Then, we flash back to the night on which the children's mother was arrested by Nazi Storm Troopers. So far, so grim.

But, my girls were hanging in there. Joseph Balicki's escape from prison was daring and compelling. The anticipation that he might get home in time to find his wife and children had intrigued them. But, then came Mother's arrest, and the children's own daring escape from their home before their presence was discovered.

"I'm hooked," said Betsy. "This is good!"

And we remained hooked all the way through. We may have plowed through this one faster than any of the other WWII books we've read thus far.

The children, Ruth, Edek and Bronia, are bright, resourceful, and brave. They discover they must make their way to Switzerland to find their father. In the process they meet Jan, an orphaned boy who becomes a brother, or something like it, to them. As the narrator describes him, he was "a charming bundle of good intentions and atrocious deeds." The children also become separated and endure many hardships and setbacks. But, they remain determined to reunite and to find their father.

Escape from Warsaw was, according to the girls:

Anne-with-an-e: "Awesome!"

Betsy: "Great! Amazing!"

Ramona: "It was good describing."

It's due back at the library this week, so we're fervently hoping that St. Nick will see fit to bring us our very own copy soon.

9 comments:

WRyan said...

I like your book reviews, Karen. We read several of these books about five years ago when I covered WWII with my older kids, and they still have such good memories (me too!).

Karen E. said...

Thanks, Willa. Yes, I've been loving these books as well, and this will definitely be a memorable year for all of us!

The Bookworm said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. The Silver Sword (UK title) is one of my all time favourite children's books.

Liz said...

We read this one under the Silver Sword Title and loved it.

Anonymous said...

i hate this book

Momo R. said...

This book grabbed my attention as soon as I started reading it, because there is a never-ending series of dangerous and even sometimes funny events. This book is interesting and it makes you want to read on because there are lots of set-backs in the story. I cant believe that one thing such as a silver sword can give such hope and faith. If I were one of the children I know I wouldn’t make it. A lot of people just think that WW2 was just in the past so we should just forget about it. But when I read the first chapter in this book I was more than anxious to read on. This book made me think more about the past and our world today. I really enjoyed reading this book and this book made me feel how well off and lucky we are today.

Anonymous said...

hi hi

Andrew said...

This book is GREAT! I'm a 35 year old man and found the book profound. A suggested read for all ages....

Anonymous said...

ur kids are right im a 11 year old and read this book in shcool it kept me turning the pages i love it