books you read for school and actually enjoyed

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rnbguru
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby rnbguru » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:26 am UTC

Yea Necklace, Love In The Time of Cholera is awesome.

I'm conflicted on Anna Karenina. While I LOVEd the first say 90% of the book and Tolstoy's writing really draws you in... it seemed to needlessly continue on for WAY too long. Like I got to the end and it was like wait.. there's more? I don't know, he seemed to want to just keep his soap box.

And The Oddyssey.... well, I'd rather not talk about that drivel. :)

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Flightless_bird » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:45 pm UTC

rnbguru wrote:Yea Necklace, Love In The Time of Cholera is awesome.

I'm conflicted on Anna Karenina. While I LOVEd the first say 90% of the book and Tolstoy's writing really draws you in... it seemed to needlessly continue on for WAY too long. Like I got to the end and it was like wait.. there's more? I don't know, he seemed to want to just keep his soap box.

And The Oddyssey.... well, I'd rather not talk about that drivel. :)


I actually like that he ends the book with
Spoiler:
Levin's happy ending rather than Anna's suicide. Mostly because Levin is my favorite character in the book and I would have wondered what happened to him if Tolstoy had ended with the suicide
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby CueBall » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:14 pm UTC

I read Lord of the Flies for school, and loved it. Very dark, but insightful.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby rnbguru » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:42 pm UTC

Flightless_bird wrote:
rnbguru wrote:Yea Necklace, Love In The Time of Cholera is awesome.

I'm conflicted on Anna Karenina. While I LOVEd the first say 90% of the book and Tolstoy's writing really draws you in... it seemed to needlessly continue on for WAY too long. Like I got to the end and it was like wait.. there's more? I don't know, he seemed to want to just keep his soap box.

And The Oddyssey.... well, I'd rather not talk about that drivel. :)


I actually like that he ends the book with
Spoiler:
Levin's happy ending rather than Anna's suicide. Mostly because Levin is my favorite character in the book and I would have wondered what happened to him if Tolstoy had ended with the suicide



Was that the final ending? It's been so long since I read it. The part that bothered me, and maybe that was the ending you were referring to was
Spoiler:
the train scene where they talk about the war going on.
It just seemed so random and extra.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Flightless_bird » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:08 pm UTC

rnbguru wrote:
Flightless_bird wrote:
rnbguru wrote:Yea Necklace, Love In The Time of Cholera is awesome.

I'm conflicted on Anna Karenina. While I LOVEd the first say 90% of the book and Tolstoy's writing really draws you in... it seemed to needlessly continue on for WAY too long. Like I got to the end and it was like wait.. there's more? I don't know, he seemed to want to just keep his soap box.

And The Oddyssey.... well, I'd rather not talk about that drivel. :)


I actually like that he ends the book with
Spoiler:
Levin's happy ending rather than Anna's suicide. Mostly because Levin is my favorite character in the book and I would have wondered what happened to him if Tolstoy had ended with the suicide



Was that the final ending? It's been so long since I read it. The part that bothered me, and maybe that was the ending you were referring to was
Spoiler:
the train scene where they talk about the war going on.
It just seemed so random and extra.


Tolstoy loved to describe the economical and social situation in Russia and Europe at the time. Which you notice from all of Levin's talk about how to reform the agricultural system. The book is a great novel but it is also Tolstoy's vision of Russia's situation and how he would fix the problems and because of this some parts of the book may seem unnecessary but when he wrote it it was probably very appreciated.
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rnbguru
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby rnbguru » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:46 pm UTC

Aye that's fair. In that sense, it was tremendous, and I loved a great deal of the agriculture discussion as it seemed to flesh out Levin's character. Still, the last one was just too out there. Though given the context as you describe, I can appreciate it.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby PumpkinKing » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:04 pm UTC

be cool
looking for alaska
roll of thunder hear my cry

there are several others such as lord of the flies that I had major issues with, not because of the actual book(which was usually fairly good), but because of the analysis that was shoved down our throats.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Jorpho » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:47 pm UTC

PumpkinKing wrote:be cool
looking for alaska
roll of thunder hear my cry
Sounds like the start of a beat poem.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Chavroux » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:48 am UTC

We had to read parts of "L'Etranger" ("The Stranger") by Albert Camus in french class. Today it's still one of my favorite books.

(BTW, some useless trivia: It did win the Nobelprize Literature in '57 and the song "Killing an Arab" by The Cure is about this book.)

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby PumpkinKing » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:33 pm UTC

oh shoot, how did i forget about of Mice and Men, it is now one of my favorite books, and it inspired me to read The Grapes of Wrath, and one other by Steinbeck
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby -.Mateo.- » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:52 pm UTC

I actually had awesome literature teachers that gave us awesome books to read. In my last two years of school, I read Kafka, Baudelaire, Huxley, and my four favourite argentinian writers (Borges, Cortazar, Girondo, Pizarnik), two of which I didn't know until I then (Girondo and Pizarnik)...And much more. Those teachers were awesome...
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby ranthlor » Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:53 am UTC

I have read alot of the classics listed here,but strangely enough none of them were assigned in school, except for Huckleberry Fin and Hamlet of course. A lot of my English/literature teachers were fundamentalists against the more than PG themes in books like "The Catcher in The Rye" or they were lazy and didn't want to spend the whole semester reading one book.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Brooklynxman » Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:13 am UTC

The Telltale Heart
Song of Solomon
Night
Inferno
Shakesphere when I had a good teacher for it
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

The thing about changing the world...once you do it the world's all different.

I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby McCaber » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:54 am UTC

Heart of Darkness. There's just so much there in that short book that it's awesome.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Cammy » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:15 am UTC

American Gods
Soul Mountain

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Vieto » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:46 pm UTC

The Alchemist
Life of Pi
The Kite Runner

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Wyvern » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:31 pm UTC

Back in elementary School, there were a couple that made an impression. Hatchet was good and memorable, (The sequels... yeah no.) But what really made an impression on me back then was Where the Red Fern Grows. It was one of the first books that actually made me cry. It was rather bittersweet.

In middle school, the only really memorable one was Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. Nothing else Comes to Mind.

Kay, High school:

The Girl With the White Flag
Of Mice and Men
1984
The Things They Carried
The Book Thief
Johnny Got his Gun


All of these I thoroughly enjoyed. I've bolded the ones that really stood out. The Things they Carried gets an extra special mention. I really loved how Tim O'Brien toyed with the concepts of truth and fiction, blurring the lines between them. It really struck a chord about the truths of reality in a similar way that 1984 did.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Durin » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:14 am UTC

Hm. Well I've liked most of them after time passed, but the ones I've liked most are:

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by Jerome Lee
The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby tekk » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:37 pm UTC

Because of Winn Dixie, read it in 4th grade....there was another book we read in 4th grade, it was really good but I can't remember the name of it

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby une see » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:07 am UTC

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Candide, by Voltaire
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (although come to think of it, I never actually finished this book...our teacher made us return the books because another teacher needed to use them)

Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.....kind of. The actual book itself was good, I guess, I just hated having to read so much in so little time...and I really think at least a third of the book should have been cut out.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby 3.14mp » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:42 pm UTC

My school has assigned some fairly good books in recent years, but I can't quite say the same during my lower school experience. (Well, not saying that I didn't read anything good then. Nothing was assigned.)

We wrote our first book reports in the second grade (you know, the type which says "I LIEKED THIS BOOK CAUSE IT WAS GROOD.") and there were absolutely no limits as to which book one could choose. Because of that, most of the kids in my class chose easy readers. My mom encouraged me to try something a little harder and so I got a copy of the Secret Garden. And that lead me to reading The Little Princess. And that sort of started a career of reading books and actually liking them.

Memorable books since then:
The Crucible- 7th grade
Of Mice and Men- 8th grade
To Kill a Mockingbird -8th grade
The Tempest- 8th grade
Slaughterhouse Five - 9th grade
Brave New World - 10th grade

I'd have quite a few books more on that list if we hadn't beaten them to death with analyzing.

and a couple might have been on that list if we analyzed them at all. (catcher and the rye, really? yes I understand that it is a challenge to people who haven't picked up a full length book outside of school for any reason whatsoever, but doesn't that mean that we should spend more time talking about it? we had the whole of one conversation on the topic, and it was a student led discussion. Delightful. I got to listen to an hour of 'I liked his hat.' and 'there were some ducks or some geese somewhere, right? that symbolic of something probably maybe.')

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby themonk » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:25 pm UTC

I feel like rather than just listing them, we should give [at least small] reasons, as some of you have.

* Edgar Allan Poe - he was my favourite poet, The Raven was the first poem I memorised, and his dark lyrics served as a good juxtaposition to my life
* Watership Down - Talking animals, who doesn't like that? Religion, politics, and philosophy mixed into a "cute" story
* Animal Farm (and for that matter Nineteen Eighty-Four) - talking animals seems to be a trend here. Dystopia, enough said.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Velict » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:36 pm UTC

Way too many books that I've read in school and liked. It would be easier to come up with a list of books I've read in school and didn't like (I'm looking at you, Cry the Beloved Country). I think I may be a Lit nerd.

The Plague (12th grade)
Catch 22 (12th)
The Prince (12th)
Freakonomics (12th) - We were assigned a chapter and I ended up reading the whole book, so I'm going to count this
Damien (11th)
Hamlet (11th)
Pride & Prejudice (11th)
1984 (11th)
Slaughterhouse Five (11th)
Macbeth (10th)
Fahrenheit 451 (10th)
The Great Gatsby (10th)
A Tale of Two Cities (10th)
Cannery Row (10th)
Catcher in the Rye (9th)
Of Mice and Men (9th)
The Alchemist (9th)
Kite Runner (9th)
Animal Farm (8th)
Midsummer Night's Dream (8th)

Undecided on Anthem (10th grade). I like the author, but the writing is piss poor terrible.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby oxy » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:56 pm UTC

I think I am going to append my list with two I've read since I posted.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Cat's Cradle

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Buzzword » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

In junior high we read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It was random and confusing and weird in all the right ways. Just about everything else was a puke fest. (If anybody makes me read Kindred again, I'll jump off a bridge.)

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:15 am UTC

I didn't hate reading (I read quite a bit, actually, though most books came from my dad's huge science fiction library), I just hated reading for school. In regards to assigned summer reading, we weren't expected to just read the book. We were supposed to write essays on them several pages long in handwriting, answering a series of questions, for about six to ten books, and take tests on them as well, and I know that when I was in high school, I don't think I was by any means mature enough to detect literary themes (even in a magnet school) unless the author bashed me over the head with them (like Ayn Rand). In fact, I don't think I reached that point until a couple years into college where I really noticed those things. Does anyone, or was/am I just slow?

And can anything make Wuthering Heights feel worth reading?

I only liked a few books I had to read through school, off the top of my head, and other students in other classes were assigned books that I have since read and liked. Guess I was just unlucky. Still need to read the Great Gatsby.

6th: the Boggart, whatever that was about (well, a ghost in scotland)--but I remember really liking that one.
8th: Night, by Elie Wiesel--well, not like it like it. Literarily like it. Its worth rereading, though obviously pretty horrifying. This was also the year the school board banned all books with curse words from being in classrooms, which removed the dictionary and the Bible.
10th: The Chosen. Had a terrifying English teacher who spoiled English classes forever by making us non-AP students work harder than she worked her AP class. She ruined some books and plays mentioned here, such as the Crucible and Of Mice and Men.
11th: Hamlet, and what of the Canterbury Tales we read.
12th: Catch-22 was good. But at that point, music was my literature and Maynard James Keenan was my shakespeare.

In my third year of college, for my late enlightenment philosophy class, I read Candide for a presentation I had to do. Looking back on it, I should have realised right then and there, when I was up in front of the class, that I just didn't get literature at the time. Fortunately it was a group presentation.

In the past year I've read a fair amount of literature and I just am not sure about something...was the problem the part where I was young and naive and immature, or that we were reading the wrong books? Was block scheduling and getting to school an hour early because of the school buses making me retarded?

The Count of Monte Cristo is among my favorites, and I don't remember it being mentioned even once. Rudyard Kipling's Kim would have been perfect for those classes which covered the late Victorian era and colonialism, not that any ever made it that far, what with being bogged down in art history.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby 3.14mp » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

Buzzword wrote:In junior high we read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It was random and confusing and weird in all the right ways. Just about everything else was a puke fest. (If anybody makes me read Kindred again, I'll jump off a bridge.)


Kindred by Octavia E Butler?
Read that in 7th grade. The only enjoyable part about it was that my brother (I have the 2nd child privilege of getting all of his old books) drew a very detailed flip book summary in the margins. It illustrated a little boy splashing in a lake, and then the main character teleporting into a wall.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:47 pm UTC

Silas Marner.

You heard/read correctly.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Kohlliah » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:06 am UTC

Some of my favorites include:

Where the Red Fern Grows
The Giver
Redwall
Ender's Game
Animal Farm
Alas, Babylon
Long Walk to Freedom
The Once and Future King

Ender's Game and Alas, Babylon are both still on my bookshelf and I read them every couple of years. Definitely became favorites of mine.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby inarus » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:56 pm UTC

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpergo is good. It's a World War 1 book about two brothers who go to fight in the trenches, one of whom lied about his age to get into the army.
I did Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck for GCSE, and that's good.
I think the main problem was that we had mixed ability classes, and the only person who ever wanted to read was the slowest one in the class. That and the fact that A View From the Bridge is incredibly dull.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby xemotaco » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

Wuthering Heights is my favorite book I've ever been assigned. For some reason I clicked completely with Heathcliff, understood his motives, feelings, and utter need for Catherine. I LOVED it.

Others include:
Pride and Prejudice (I need to get around to rereading it. It was summer before freshman year reading, and I really wasn't prepared to read a book like Pride and Prejudice.)
Great Expectations
A Tale of Two Cities (LOVE. CRIED.)
Pygmalion
The Importance of Being Earnest
Silas Marner (I was the ONLY one. LOVED it.)
Frankenstein
The Woman Warrior (actually, it was extremely irritating to read, especially for the kind of work we were doing with it, but it's one of those things where you can't help being fond of it in retrospect)
The Great Gatsby

One other, Outcasts United by Warren St. John, I had to read over the summer for my religion class (it's not a religious book). It's a nonfiction book about the refugee population in Clarkston, Georgia, and a town youth soccer team that brings all of the kids together, whether they are from Africa or the Middle East. It was a quick, modern, interesting read, and their coach, a Jordanian woman named Luma, is probably the coolest person in Georgia.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby matko5 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:45 pm UTC

Anna Karenina.

I loved the synopsis of the Crime & Punishment, but alas, I haven't read it.
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby mercutio_stencil » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:04 am UTC

PumpkinKing wrote:oh shoot, how did i forget about of Mice and Men, it is now one of my favorite books, and it inspired me to read The Grapes of Wrath, and one other by Steinbeck

I suffered through The Grapes of Wrath, and I thought I didn't like Steinbeck. Then I read East of Eden, Oprah got it right. It's a much better book. Better still though, is Tortilla Flat, I'm still flabbergasted at just how powerful that short little book can be.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby EmptySet » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:27 pm UTC

Not really a book as such, but I liked The Importance of Being Earnest. Most of my classmates didn't understand the humour. The Quiet American was also pretty good, with interesting political themes and whatnot.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby sippawitz » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:53 am UTC

enders game...

got me into proper sci fi :D

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Thurid » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:43 am UTC

Catcher in the Rye - 10th Grade

That's all....doing one for books I absolutely abhor would be much easier
You put the 'ass' in mass murder.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:41 pm UTC

There are only two books I can remember liking that were required:

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Giver

Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, *insert classic here* were pretty crappy, but that's probably because of how I was taught them.

I really enjoyed (enjoy) reading, I just hated being told what to read.

I am so envious of people who got to read Ender's Game in school. That is one of my favorite books. Although, come to think of it, English teachers probably would have killed it for me, so I'm glad they didn't.

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Fin Archangel » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:39 am UTC

Lord of the Flies
Shakespeare (everything)
The Great Gatsby
Of Mice and Men
The Scarlet Letter
(strangely enough.)

The books I couldn't stand reading:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (I just didn't like it. At all.)
Animal Farn (It's a good book, but I was too young when I read it and was sad for all the animals that died. :D)
The Grapes of Wrath (It was so obviously a dig at society and appealed so much to emotion and presented only one side of it and it was so blatantly socialist that it was like there was a socialist anvil dropped on my head.)
Spoiler:
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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby alphawolf29 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:14 pm UTC

All quiet on the western front was a great book. Mice and men....Horrible..

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Re: books you read for school and actually enjoyed

Postby Dave_Wise » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:50 am UTC

oh shoot, how did i forget about of Mice and Men, it is now one of my favorite books, and it inspired me to read The Grapes of Wrath, and one other by Steinbeck

Did you ever read the log from the sea of cortez? It'll totally change how you think about Steinbeck as an author and blow your mind in so many ways.

There was a novel we read in class in primary school, called something like 'the silver sword'. I don't know the author or whether it's at all popular outside of my primary school, but it was a really good book. It's about a group of child refugees making their way from Poland to Switzerland during the last years of the second world war.
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