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Ian Serraillier - Author

About the Author

Ian Serraillier (September 24, 1912 - November 28, 1994), was a British novelist and poet. Serraillier was best known for his children's books, especially The Silver Sword (1956), a wartime adventure story which was adapted for television by the BBC in 1957 and again in 1971.

Born in London, Serraillier was educated at Brighton College and took his degree at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He became an English teacher and it was during this period that his first published work appeared, in the form of poetry for both adults and children. In 1946 his first children’s novel was published. It was followed by several more adventure stories of treasure and spies. His best known work, The Silver Sword has become a classic, bringing to life the story of four refugee children and their search for their parents in the chaos of Europe immediately after World War II.

As well as children’s novels and poetry, Serrailler produced his own retellings of classic tales, in prose and verse, including Beowulf, Chaucer and Greek myth. Together with his wife Anne he founded the New Windmill Series in 1948, published by Heinemann Educational Books, which set out to provide inexpensive editions of good stories. He continued as co-editor of the series until the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

 

Featured books by Ian Serraillier

Other books by Ian Serraillier

The Silver Sword A BBC Radio full-cast dramatisation

The Silver Sword A BBC Radio full-cast dramatisation

Author: Ian Serraillier Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 07/02/2019

A BBC radio full-cast dramatisation of Ian Serraillier's classic wartime story. When the Germans march into Poland in 1941, the Balickis' happy family life is shattered. With their parents taken away by Nazis, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are forced to fend for themselves in the dangerous, war-ravaged city of Warsaw. When Edek is captured too, the girls are desperate. Then they meet orphaned street urchin Jan, who carries with him a talisman of hope: a silver sword paperknife that they recognise as having belonged to their mother. Realising that their parents may still be alive, Ruth and Bronia set off on an epic journey to Switzerland to search for them. With Jan by their side, they are determined to reunite the family - and their first step is to find Edek. But the road ahead is full of danger and hardship, and they will face many challenges along the way... This moving story of friendship, courage and solidarity stars Sarah McDonald Hughes as Ruth, Stephen Hoyle as Edek, Hester Cox as Bronia and Aqib Khan as Jan. Duration: 1 hour 30 mins approx.

The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword

Author: Ian Serraillier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2015

Although the silver sword was only a paper knife, it became the symbol of hope and courage which kept the Balicki children and their orphan friend Jan alive through the four years of occupation when they had to fend for themselves. And afterwards it inspired them to keep going on the exhausting and dangerous journey from war-torn Poland to Switzerland, where they hoped to find their parents. Based on true accounts, this is a moving story of life during and after the Second World War.

The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword

Author: Ian Serraillier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2012

Discover this amazing adventure story set in the Second World War 'If you meet Ruth or Edek or Bronia, you must tell them I'm going to Switzerland to find their mother. Tell them to follow as soon as they can' Having lost their parents in the chaos of war, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are left alone to fend for themselves and hide from the Nazis amid the rubble and ruins of their city. They meet a ragged orphan boy, Jan, who treasures a paperknife - a silver sword - which was entrusted to him by an escaped prisoner of war. The three children realise that the escapee was their father, the silver sword a message that he is alive and searching for them. Together with Jan they begin a dangerous journey across the battlefields of Europe to find their parents. BACKSTORY: Read a letter from the author's daughter and find out about the amazing true stories that inspired The Silver Sword.

The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword

Author: Ian Serraillier Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2006

Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by World War Two, Jan and his three homeless friends cling to the silver sword as a symbol of hope. As they travel through Europe towards Switzerland, where they believe they will be reunited with their parents, they encounter many hardships and dangers. This extraordinarily moving account of an epic journey gives a remarkable insight into the reality of life in war-torn Europe.

The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword

Author: Ian Serraillier, Jane Serraillier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2003

The classic tale of a journey through war-torn Europe. Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by World War Two, Jan and his three homeless friends cling to the silver sword as a symbol of hope. As they travel through Europe towards Switzerland, where they believe they will be reunited with their parents, they encounter many hardships and dangers. This extraordinarily moving account of an epic journey gives a remarkable insight into the reality of a Europe laid waste by war.

The Road To Canterbury

The Road To Canterbury

Author: Ian Serraillier Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/11/1981

One of a series of top-quality fiction for schools, this is a collection of retellings of some of Chaucer's stories and character sketches in Canterbury Tales.

The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword

Author: Ian Serraillier Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/1970

This title is part of a series of nine plays for children aged seven to nine. It is intended for guided reading sessions and is in line with literacy guidance. Each play in the series provides: easy-to-read text; colour-coded character parts for easy recognition; stage directions to introduce children to the features of play scripts; illustrations that help to bring the play and its characters to life; and background information and ideas for reading or staging the play.

The Enchanted Island

The Enchanted Island

Author: Ian Serraillier Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/1966

One of a series of top-quality fiction for schools. These retellings of Shakespeare stories focus on The Taming of the Shrew , A Midsummer Night's Dream , The Merchant of Venice , Henry IV Part 1 , Henry V , Twelfth Night , Julius Caesar , Hamlet , King Lear , Macbeth and The Tempest .

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