Tuesday 28 August 2012

The Silver Sword

One of the advantages of being a home educator is getting to read childhood favourites again. I sometimes think that my reading age is stuck about 10!

The Silver Sword by Ian Serrailler is a story about children in post Second World War Europe and their struggle to find their parents, across country boundaries, despite the attempts of authorities to repatriate. It deals with the issues of child refugees in an honest but not prurient  manner. I read this story as a child and found a copy again recently. In many ways, I'm sorry not to have found it last year as Middle Son studied the Second World War and this would have fitted in well. Still, it will do as an early read, for this coming year, and will link both years.

Ian Serrailler was a Quaker and conscientious objector so there is no glorification of war and no description of actual fighting. In common with many stories of this genre, it has a happy ending; more happy than seems realistic to someone with medical training. The author was a teacher so tried the book on his form, at Midhurst Grammar, before publication. It is suitable for children from about 10 and fits in well with studying the Second World War.

My main disappointment with this book is that the 1957 film of the book seems virtually unobtainable.

This term, I'm looking for ways of adding value to reading for older children. That film would have fitted the ticket. Hopefully, I will be able to write more about this issue as term progresses.


  1. Hello
    Since I last dropped into your blog, I have been looking at a curriculum for "after FIAR" (we shall soon run out of FIAR books).

    The list of living books on the Ambleside Online website is quite American,, and I was looking for a few Anglo books.

    Thanks for the review. Which edition of the book did you buy?

  2. Hi Anthea,

    I brought the 2011 reprint by Jonathan Cape which has interesting background material and a map.

    We've run out of FIAR books too but as some of mine are still quite young plan to do a "book of the week" in a similar vein.

    I'm sure you will find some interesting books-will be interested to hear what you choose.

    Have you seen "Lord of the Forest"? This is about a Sussex oak tree.