In the dead of night in Warsaw a house explodes into flames. A hundred feet down the road, three children are scurrying away on the rooftops, terrified by the Nazis' arrest of their mother. In the following couple of years, strong, motherly 13-yr-old Ruth, noble, protective 11-yr-old Edek, and innocent 3-yr-old Bronia, live in the streets struggling to survive and help other orphaned children. When Edek is taken by the Nazis and the girls find a ragged urchin boy who has a long forgotten message from their father, they decide to journey to Switzerland, where their parents had promised to wait for them. With Jan (the boy), his box of treasures, and the shoes given them by a kindly soldier, the sisters begin their journey across countries to find Edek and reunite with their parents.
Good. The children sometimes disobey authorities in order to do what they intended. Jan lies and steals, but he is reprimanded and punished. During the war, Edek sells food on the Black Market. Ruth has the highest standards of respect and honesty.
Bible stories are mentioned.
Father, Mother, and Edek all suffer greatly in Nazi prisons or camps, though that is not greatly dwelt on. The children have bullets fired at them a couple of times. A main character becomes ill and is very close to dying. The children are in danger of drowning a couple of times. There are many minor things that happen during their journey, such as a farmer almost stabbing them with a pitchfork.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Crude or Profane Language or Content
One of my family's favorites, this book is one that people of all ages can enjoy and appreciate. The values are excellent, despite the lack of God, and one thing that comes across clearly is that you can't judge people by their nationality. Often the "bad guys" are just doing their jobs the same as you are - though all men are responsible for their actions. The children are well portrayed and Ruth especially sets a wonderful example by her selflessness and courage to face the daily trials. The writing flows well and nothing seemed beyond believability. I particularly appreciated how even in the devastation of war, the children's faith and hope never let it seem dark.