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Goes on and on and on about simple details. View all 3 comments. May 15, Wynnie rated it liked it. The House of Sixty Fathers is a book I listed with the theme of war and overcoming adversity in a reading list I compiled recently. Teaching lower secondary students, I wanted to expand my knowledge of Young Adult YA fiction which explains my foray into them. I had this book for a while, but bumped it up my reading list to commemorate the passing of its illustrator, Maurice Sendak. I bought his book from the local independent bookstore that specialises in picture books, www. The bookshop is so pretty, I could not not buy a book from it.

The House of Sixty Fathers tells the tale of hope, sheer determination, the pivotal kindness of strangers and good judgement. True, the protagonist had a lot of help from good people who came to his aid along the way to get him reunited with his family, but Tian Pao also had to stay single-minded and persevere beyond what he had ever experienced. Young Adult readers will be able to identify with Tian Pao's fear of loneliness, abandonment and his struggle with inadequacy.

Although Tian Pao seemed to be assisted in his efforts to surmount one challenge after another, the book does not sugar coat the terror of war, especially of the Japanese invasion of China in the s.

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I particularly like these two references of the horrors of war and its effect on children. The author's description of war does not glamourise war, nor does it take war lightly. Tien Pao, have you considered? What if you should try to cross and the river should take you? Suppose the terrible river current should wrench just one oar away. Your wonderful river-god airman has no experience with sampans. Tien Pao do you know what would happen if the river took you and that American airman? Where it would take you? Back where we came from! Back to the Japanese! Do you know what would happen to your helpless airman?

The Japanese would torture him - he is an airman. They would drive bamboo splinters under his tender nails until he told all about this great new field for airplanes we are building at Hengyang. And when he had told, they would kill him. He peered though the bushes.


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A group of boys and girls were coming up the hill with baskets on their backs and grass knives in their hands. They came slowly and weakly - like old people. They even looked like old people! Their skin was drawn like old paper over their cheekbones. The children stopped halfway up the hill, put their baskets down, and began sawing at the sparse grass with their hooked knives. Those children ate grass!


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They stuffed whole handfuls into their mouths before they put as much as a blade of grass into their baskets. Then one little boy began to eat mud! Tien Pao looked on horrified. The mud-eating boy was the smallest of the lot. He kept away from the others, as if he were ashamed. He dragged himself around behind his bloated, huge stomach. His sticks of legs looked silly under that big stomach. And now the little boy scooped up a handful of dirt again and brought it to his mouth. His sister saw it, and scolded him in a tired, old way.

The other children looked up, but did not seem to care. The little fellow hung his head. He slowly opened his hand and let the mud dribble out of it. He looked at his empty, dirty hand and began to cry. That line suddenly lit up a bulb in my head to illuminate exactly what happens when silence rebukes a guilt so much more than any spoken word. Apr 12, Josiah rated it liked it. Meindert DeJong is one of the great authors at writing interesting, emotionally involved stories for younger readers, using the kind of uncomplicated sentence structures that have universal appeal while also serving as a superb introduction to fine literature.

The House of Sixty Fathers is a classic type of adventure book, with the main character Tien Pao becoming hopelessly separated from his parents in China near the story's beginning. Danger surrounds the boy at every turn; the Japanese army Meindert DeJong is one of the great authors at writing interesting, emotionally involved stories for younger readers, using the kind of uncomplicated sentence structures that have universal appeal while also serving as a superb introduction to fine literature. Danger surrounds the boy at every turn; the Japanese army has overtaken a major portion of China, and all of the nation's denizens are in mortal danger from the invading Japanese soldiers.

Through a bit of innocent carelessness on his own part, Tien Pao and his pig, Glory-of-the-Republic, get lost down the river from the temporary station at which he and his parents have been living, and he becomes lost deep in the heart of Japanese occupied territory. Soldiers wait seemingly around every bend to capture the boy, a capture that would likely mean torture and death for even a young Chinese citizen such as Tien Pao. Racing across the war-torn countryside, Tien Pao must at every turn outwit the Japanese forces swarming the mountains, while at the same time trying to find his way back to his parents and keeping himself and Glory-of-the-Republic alive in the uncertain wilderness.

Tien Pao finds allies and enemies everywhere, and it's not always easy to tell where they fall in the spectrum. After all, the displaced Chinese citizens are desperate and starving the same as Tien Pao, and that kind of desperation is sure to attract trouble to a boy possessed of a healthy young pig. Dangers and snares seem to swallow Tien Pao and his pet with each step that they take, but finally the boy sees the unmistakable glimmer of hope when he is found by American soldiers on the long pathway that stretches away from the horrors of the Japanese occupied land.

Tien Pao now no longer faces imminent death, though he is still lost from his parents and baby sister. But who could ever find such a commonplace family among the throngs of evacuating Chinese travelers milling across the land? What hope does Tien Pao have, really, of ever reconnecting with the family that he has lost? The House of Sixty Fathers didn't have to be written as thoughtfully as it was. Meindert DeJong could have easily taken shortcuts in the making of this novel, but he never did so, and we as readers are better off for it.

I want to note that the illustrations drawn by Maurice Sendak seem especially appropriate for this book; in fact, some of the most stirring moments in The House of Sixty Fathers are to be found in its understated illustrations. The most important of all these illustrations, I would say, can be seen on the book's dedication page. That picture speaks volumes about the simple emotional value of this story. It was a hard decision whether to round up or down on my rating, but I would definitely give two and a half stars to The House of Sixty Fathers. Jan 02, Shannon Duncan rated it really liked it Shelves: The House of Sixty Fathers is a touching, although disturbing, children's novel.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Only a few days after his family escaped from their home and the Japanese, Tien Pao finds himself back in enemy territory, but this time alone. He has The House of Sixty Fathers is a touching, although disturbing, children's novel. He has his piglet, Glory-of-the -Republic. Together the pair must set out to find their way home, but the journey is fraught with danger.

Then, when it seems as though nothing could get worse, there is a ray of hope. Now a difficult choice is laid out before him: What will he decide to do? This is a desperately sad, but tenderly told story set in China during the second Sino-Japanese War. The horror and pain of the war is portrayed with almost frightening vividness.

The characters are so well pictured that they could be real. The story is simple, but does not feel drawn out or boring. The illustrations add to the character of the book, but are also somewhat disturbing. They are dark and shadowy and the expressions on the faces are full of pain and terror. The House of Sixty Fathers is skilfully written and is definitely a must-read. It was written for children, but is very intense, so is probably best for older children who are able to cope with this.

Jul 15, Tnb rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is of the types of books I read as a second, third and fourth grader in a communist country. I happen to like such books. Now, this particular story has a sequence of low probability events so you have to be smart when reading it to differentiate the truth from the fiction, from what is likely and what is very unlikely to happen. So a lesson in that too.

The book does contain a few scenes which can make you discuss war This is of the types of books I read as a second, third and fourth grader in a communist country. The book does contain a few scenes which can make you discuss war in more detail.

18-year-old who pushed friend off 60-foot bridge now facing charges

The book has also tons of holes which is not a bad thing but a thought-provoking opportunity. Such a 1 why is the kid left at the boat alone when evidently he can be taken to the field 2 what happens to the old man 3 how does the guerrila guy know that the old woman's house has exploded with her inside 4 what happens to the young woman in the second shelter and many many more, and of course don't forget to talk about the title of the book because I don't think this is the appropriate title for this book. It is not even catchy. Fathers are notable people while all these sixty men are just the same, they blend into one, and they are not even the ones carring for the boy-the doctor and one seargent and one pilot are.

All things to question. But as I said I did enjoy reading the book, mostly because of my background and the memories the story brought back from my childhood and especially my grandmother who was in love with such books. Aug 13, Thomas Bell rated it really liked it Shelves: I really liked this book. It shows good character development and good strong emotion.

It is also an adventure with bravery and heroism. Granted, it was obvious what the ending would be as soon as he rattled their little river-hut too much during the storm. However, it was still fun to get there.

The House of Sixty Fathers

Holgerson said she didn't feel any pain but adrenaline kicked in after she hit the water. Smith told "GMA" that she immediately reached out to Holgerson after the incident and "apologized several times," and even tried to visit her in the hospital but was "asked to leave. I'm really sorry it turned out that way.

I just pray that she heals and gets better. Investigators from the Clark County Sheriff's Office wrapped up their probe of the incident earlier this week and turned over their finding to prosecutors, who announced the reckless endangerment charge Friday afternoon. Earlier, Smith told "GMA" that the prospect of facing charges is "scary" but she will "accept whatever the prosecutor gives me. Teen pushed from bridge speaks out from hospital.

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