Mrs Hutchinson shares with us her favourite children’s book…
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier.
I have always loved reading and still do! When I was 9 or 10, I waited patiently every Monday at 5pm for the paper boy to deliver my Bunty comic, which was then replaced by Jackie magazine as I got older. On Christmas morning, I couldn’t wait to get the Bunty or Jackie annual and would read it straight away, eating chocolate from my selection box in my jammies! I was never without a book to read. At primary school, I got books out of the school library and my Mum took me every fortnight to our local library. When I was your age, there was no day time TV and Children’s TV was only on from 5.00-6.00pm in the evening. There were no computers, iPads, Playstations, Xboxes or Wiis to keep us amused, so I was either playing with friends outside (in all weathers) drawing and making things or reading! When I was 9 or 10, I waited patiently every Monday at 5pm for the paper boy to deliver my Bunty comic. I loved all the Enid Blyton books – adventure stories of summer holidays with children as heroes in The Secret Seven and The Famous Five and exciting, fun stories of boarding school with girls who always seemed to be having midnight feasts in the Malory Towers and St Clare’s series.
One of my favourite books was The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier, which I read in P6. I know some of you have read the book or seen the film of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Silver Sword reminds me a little of it. It was based on the true story of the Balicki family in Poland during the Second World War. The father is imprisoned by the Nazis and then his wife is also taken away, leaving their three children to look after themselves. They meet a boy called Jan who has the ‘silver sword’ – a paper knife, that the children recognise as belonging to their father. The story tells of their dangerous exploits, as together they try to cross Poland and Germany to reach safety in Switzerland. It is a very moving story and shows the courage, resourcefulness and determination of the children as they try to survive . I won’t give away the ending in case you want to read it for yourself!