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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can still taste the chocolate nearly thirty years later, 6 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
As a late starter to enjoying reading books, this was one of the very first books I read by choice. I laughed and cried, and nearly thirty years later I imagine I can still taste the ration chocolate they ate. I remember distinctly the feeling of loss when I finished reading the story. I shall be getting it for my children to read. I honestly believe this had a great effect on making me into someone who loves to read. Everyone should read it - I know I shall do so again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, 25 Jun. 2011
By 
Darth Newdar (Poole, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The House of Sixty Fathers (Paperback)
The House of Sixty Fathers may, at first glance, appear to be a simplified and standard children's book. Certainly, it is very simple; the sentences are all kept to an absolute minimum of length. But this simple style hides an absolutely brilliant exploration of war that adults will enjoy every bit as much as children, if not more.

The book opens with very little introduction. Meindert DeJong immediately thrusts his readers into Tien Pao's world, a world being torn apart by the horrific war between China and Japan. Bullets and bombs rain down within a few pages, and this very much sets the tone for the book. From the first terrible attack on Tien Pao's village, to his meeting with the Chinese resistance, to his sight of a Japanese attack on an American force, all is described in wonderfully vivid detail.

Somehow, it is easy to tell that the book is based on the author's own experiences as an American soldier serving in China: the events are so wonderfully brought to life, and the emotions so brilliantly described, that only somebody who had witnessed these terrifying experiences could write about them in such a way. The emotional impact is massive. Tien Pao himself is perfectly developed as the main character; and despite being told in the third person, the emotions of Tien Pao are so well described that nobody could read the book without feeling a huge connection to him. You are right there with him as he gets shot at, as he eats leaves to stave off hunger, and as he desperately searches for his lost family.

This is the very definition of a family book, a book that both children and adults will hugely enjoy. And having read this as a family, I would recommend it, as it reads aloud extremely well.

The House of Sixty Fathers is as good an adventure novel as you could wish to read, but it's more than that. It superbly explores themes that many other books simply do not dare to, and touches the reader's heart and emotions deeply. It is unforgettable, and it will give you a deeper appreciation of the trauma of war and of refugees' plight than any amount of non-fiction accounts will.

9/10
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting tale from a tragic conflict., 16 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
I chose this book as my School Prize when I was 11 years old. It tells the tale of a young orphaned boy during wartime, who is "adopted" by the enemy soldiers. It's underlying theme is the futility of war, and how conflict and distance from home can somehow lift the colour of love and compassion, into the jagged stark emotions of war. It seems more beautiful now, than it did when I was 11. Then it was just a great book, that I read and then went and did something else.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My sixth grade teacher read this to our class, 3 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The House of Sixty Fathers (Paperback)
My sixth grade teacher read this to our class twenty-five years ago. It's a story about a Chinese boy adopted by sixty American pilots in China during World War II. Tien Pao and his pet pig, Glory of the Republic, are separated from his parents when their sampan drifts back toward Japanese lines. I'll leave the rest of the story to you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My sixth grade teacher read this to our class, 3 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The House of Sixty Fathers (Paperback)
My sixth grade teacher read this to our class twenty-five years ago. It's a story about a Chinese boy adopted by sixty American pilots in China during World War II. Tien Pao and his pet pig, Glory of the Republic, are separated from his parents when their sampan drifts back toward Japanese lines. I'll leave the rest of the story to you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Book!, 25 Jan. 2004
By A Customer
I had this book read to me by my teacher in Primary School and I loved it so much I bought a copy to read as an adult, It is probably one of the most memorable books I had read to me as a child and I would definitely recommend it! Meindert De jong is a terrific author- would also recommend Hurry Home Candy by the same author!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Futility of war and its humane side, 28 Mar. 2007
This review is from: The House of Sixty Fathers (Paperback)
I received this book from my best friend at the time as a school leaving present. This is a story about the humane face of war; one where innocence reigns above bullets and human oppression. It tells the tale of a young orphaned boy during wartime, who is "adopted" by the enemy soldiers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 3 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The House of Sixty Fathers (Paperback)
I bought this because I vaguely remembered reading it at school.
It is a brilliant historical fiction and perfect to teach kids about the Japanese invasion of China - and the way it affected everyday people. Enjoyed it just as much as an adult!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for the bookshelf, 24 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The House of Sixty Fathers (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book. Excellent story, excellent character development, history made real for the reader. Lots of action. Read the book and then pass it on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There was a lot of action in the book., 10 Sept. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The House of Sixty Fathers (Paperback)
I liked this book because it had a lot of action in it and it was well written. I liked how Tien Pao cared for his pig. Tien Pao had courage.
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The House of Sixty Fathers
The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert De Jong (Paperback - Aug. 1987)
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