How could I not have read this before? It was published just two years after I was born and was made into a BBC television serial when I was still in single digits. I watched the serial, but I never read the book until last week. And I should have, because it’s a good one.
It describes the experiences – I deliberately don’t use the word ‘adventures’– of four children walking from Poland to Switzerland in the last year of WWII and the first of the peace. Even making allowances for the time it was written, when children’s stories were a lot fluffier, it’s a surprisingly harsh story. That’s why I don’t say ‘adventures’; because that would suggest a tale easily digested and forgotten. This book still packs a punch, which is probably why it’s still in print 63 years after it appeared. And will probably stay in print for another 63.