The House of Sixty Fathers

Meindert Dejong is probably one of the best children’s literature authors you may have never heard of.  I had never heard of him before I started using Sonlight’s homeschooling curriculum.

Over the past few years, we have read Wheel on the School, Shadrach, and Along Came a Dog in school, so when I saw this year included a Meindert Dejong book, I was excited.

The House of Sixty Fathers is an excellent book.  It’s set in China during World War II and the Japanese Invasion of China.  The back of my copy says it’s for children ages 10-14, and I would agree with that.

The main character, Tien Po, is separated from his parents during the war.  This book is about his journey to find them and the unexpected help he gives and receives along the way.  It is set during a war, so Tien Po witnesses some awful things younger children may not be ready to process.

We finished reading The House of Sixty Fathers this morning.  Actually, Anna finished reading it because I couldn’t.  They thought I couldn’t read because I was laughing too hard.  Au contraire! I was crying too hard!  But I won’t tell you why and ruin the ending.

Throughout the entire book, we were trying to figure out why it was called The House of Sixty Fathers.  We ventured many guesses, but didn’t discover the answer until nearly the last chapter – and then it all made sense.

This is a great book to read aloud to your children if they are 10 or older, unless your child is especially sensitive to emotional distress of separation and fear.  My older children and I really enjoyed it.

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