The Silver Sword Topics for Discussion
by Ian Serraillier

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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1. The Silver Sword has been published with a different title, Escape from Warsaw. Which title do you think fits the book better? Why?

2. Why is it important to Jan that Joseph gives him the sword? What function does the sword serve in the story?

3. The night that Mrs. Balicki is taken away by the Germans, Edek shoots at the soldiers. They come back later and blow up the house. Should Edek have shot at the soldiers? Why or why not?

4. Jan steals things throughout the book. He apparently feels justified in stealing, even when he gets caught. Why does he need to steal? Is he justified or not? Why?

5. The son of Herr and Frau Wolff was a German soldier in Warsaw, the sort of soldier Jan particularly hates. The young Wolff was killed trying to keep Warsaw under German control. Why do the Wolffs help the children? Why is Jan able to accept their help?

6. Why does Jan finally decide to help Ruth save Edek instead of going after Ludwig?

7. Why does Jan have trouble settling down after the war is over and life no longer presents as many struggles?