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The House of Sixty Fathers

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,597 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Tien Pao and piglet he names "Glory-of-the-Republic" after baby sister "Beauty-of-the-Republic" drift free in storm downriver back to Japanese territory. Following tiny mountain trails back to parents, he meets American aviator. Guerillas sneak them free. Based on real story of boy adopted by squadron of sixty flyers in bunkhouse.
Hardcover, LCC 568148 HC 1956 before ISBNs, 189 pages
Published August 28th 1987 by Harper Collins (first published 1956)
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Jul 18, 2009 Leslie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: man, woman and child
Shelves: children-s-lit
Here's one I've picked up for my little guy's library. We can't resist a book with a shiny medal on the cover. I like to read kid books between my "grownup" books because they are easier to focus on during my "book hangovers". You know, when a particular book is so thought provoking that your mind is foggy with it's images and characters that it's rather hard to begin another book.
Okay, well now that I've read it I will declare it to be one of my new all time favorites. I can't believe I haven
Linda Lipko
Aug 08, 2014 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing
A few years ago when reading The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, I learned more about the extreme animosity Chinese people hold for the Japenese.

This 1957 Newbery Honor book reinforced what I learned. This is a tale of the Japenese invasion of China. As they systematically descerated the land, murdering the poor peasants, bullets shot throughout the air, finding helpless targets, and in the aftermath, red fire raged through the huts, burning livestock and people within.
Aug 14, 2012 Chloe rated it really liked it
Yaya: I wish that there were five stars, but nobody else wanted five stars. I find it was cool when Tien Pao floated away by the bulls in the water and he didn't notice that one of them undid the twig. So then, how did they float away? They floated away when the pig was running and Tien Pao was screaming and running at the same time. I found it scary when the man didn't try to get him when it was raining with the umbrella. It was funny when the two mans found him and it was funny when they took ...more
May 20, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing
I pre read this book as part of my children's homeschool Sonlight Core F curriculum. This book was probably one of the most heart wrenching reads I have ever read. Yet it also brought tears of joy and so much happiness into my heart. I am so thankful for having read this book. It really shows the determination of children, the kindness of strangers, and the unending love of family.
Louise O'neil
Feb 08, 2014 Louise O'neil rated it it was amazing
This book was not what I was expecting, pretty intense at parts and emotional to read to the kids but we all thought it was a great book and loved the ending!
Mar 20, 2013 Tess rated it it was ok
Ugh. Had to read this book for school. Just so boring. :( Goes on and on and on about simple details.
May 15, 2012 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,, ...more
Apr 12, 2010 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
Shannon Duncan
Jan 02, 2016 Shannon Duncan rated it really liked it
The House of Sixty Fathers is a touching, although disturbing, children's novel. It was written by Meindert DeJong, an award winning author, and is a Newbery Honour book itself. It was first published in 1956 by Harper & Brothers, now there are a few editions available. 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. Well, almost alone. He has
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. Митко Палаузов и Овчарчето Калитко are the two books that come to mind. 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 ...more
Thomas Bell
Aug 13, 2011 Thomas Bell rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery-honors
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.

As background to this book, during the 2nd Sino-Japanese War Japan invaded China. After Japan allied itself with Germany, this Sino-Japanese War became, of sorts, part of World War II. Anyway, during WWI
Emily Hughes
Jan 03, 2014 Emily Hughes rated it it was ok
After about 50 pages I was not very impressed. every description was absurdly repetitive. It seemed like for every sentence there was a second with the same content with different words, like a translation. I think DeJong needs to invest in a thesaurus. The word sampan appeared probably ten times on every page for the first half of the book. I just once wanted to see the word boat in its place. (no such luck)

As the story progressed there was more action and was not so boring or redundant to read
Steve Hemmeke
Aug 20, 2013 Steve Hemmeke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meindert DeJong is excellent reading for young people. He uses a simple writing style that repeats and reinforces main themes. And the themes of his books are glorious.

In House of 60 Fathers, the Japanese are attacking the Chinese, and a little Chinese boy, the main character, gets separated from his family. The Americans are involved, portrayed positively, and help bring him back.

If you have seen the Pianist movie, it reminded me of this (except age appropriate for young people and without grat
Thomas Parlmer
Apr 09, 2014 Thomas Parlmer rated it it was amazing
Best children's book I have ever read.

This book is a gripping story of a chinese child struggling through the Japanese invasion of China. In my opinion, it is one of the most incredible pieces of children's literature ever written. An easy read that's completely worth it.
Aug 11, 2011 Brianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book last year in school - it was so interesting.
Marty Reeder
All I remembered about this book from 5th grade was that I liked it and that it had a visceral scene of a starving kid eating a bowl of rice. Upon rereading, I found out that my memory served me well. I like this book. And there is a descriptive scene with a starving boy eating a bowl of rice.

Because I forgot the plot once, it is likely I’ll forget again, so I’ll jot down a couple particulars. The action starts immediately as Tien Pao and his family escape the horrors of the Japanese offensive d
Jan 07, 2017 Rileyw rated it it was amazing
this book had a very good plot full with tones of great things. so first off Tien Pao was on a boat with his family trying to escape the Japanese but wile his parents are out a heard of buffalo come and push the ship out of the harbor he falls asleep and doesn't realize that he is being pushed down the river from whence his family had recently came. He awakened up in deep fog and was petrified that he was so alone he only had one thing a pig Gònghéguó de róngyào(glory of the republic). he and hi ...more
Newbery Honor: 1957

During the Japanese invasion of China, Tien Pao becomes separated from his family as their sampan becomes unattached from the pier and floats down the river toward the Japanese-occupied area. Along with Tien Pao are his beloved pig, Glory-of-the-Republic and a trio of ducklings. The House of Sixty Fathers is Tien Pao's story of survival through Japanese infested land, trying to find his way back to his parents and little sister.

Along the way, he comes across many hardships an
We read this as part of our history lessons, since this takes place when the Japanese invaded China. While it was a heart-warming story, for some reason, it didn't quite capture the attention of me or the kids. It was a sweet story, but I didn't feel much suspense or angst, even though the situation of a kid floating off by himself in a river and getting lost and then getting picked up by a foreigner and brought to live with 60 random strangers, surrounded by people who didn't speak his language ...more
Read because it was a battle book for a district I was judging for
Carolina Day
May 21, 2017 Carolina Day rated it really liked it
Lovely book
Feb 28, 2017 Clara rated it really liked it
Incredible story that shows the strength of one boy, the love of a family and how helping others is so important. Excellent read.
Apr 16, 2009 Christina rated it it was ok
By Meindert Dejong total Pages:208

The book The House Of Sixty Fathers by Meindert Dejong is about a young boy named Tien pao who lived in a small town in China but had 2 leave because the Japanese were coming to attack. Tien Pao lives with his mother and father but they leave him alone everyday in the sampan which is like a small little hut. After many days of being in the sampan alone Tien Pao gets used to the same routines and kind of lifestyle he now lives everyday. But one day some water b
Apr 14, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it
Separated from his parents and set adrift on a river in Japanese occupied China, Tien Pao learns the meaning of extreme hunger and exhaustion as he tries to find his way back to Hengyang, the city he drifted away from. He sets out on land, trekking through barren plains and scraggly foothills with only his family pig as company. One day he finds an injured American airman and helps him escape from a company of Japanese soldiers who saw the plane crash. Before these two get very far they are capt ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Elise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool
This book broke my stupid heart. I don't know how the kids are going to like but this book confirms to me that Meindert DeJong is one of the giants in children's literature.

This is a non-sentimental story of a Chinese boy during the second Sino-Japanese war. Their village is destroyed by Japanese invaders and the family escapes in a "borrowed" sampan- sort of a houseboat. They escape upriver to safety but a storm breaks the moorings and the boy, his pet pig and the sampan are swept away back do
An Odd1
Dec 21, 2014 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fan
"You remember the old crone who gave you that second bowl of rice this morning? .. Japanese burned her house, and she was in it" p 100. Atrocities are only hinted at. After "engineer got shot in the cab .. passenger train kept slowly .. backed into the burning station" p 118.

Tien Pao and piglet he names "Glory-of-the-Republic" after baby sister "Beauty-of-the-Republic" drift free in storm downriver back to Japanese territory. Following tiny mountain trails back to parents, he meets American avi
Oct 13, 2013 Timothyl rated it really liked it
What I remember most distinctly about this story was that I've never gotten hungry by reading before, but this book so clearly tells the woes of being without food. DeJong has written a few weirdly captivating kids' stories (The Wheel on the School, Shadrach, etc.) but this one crowns them easily. We, as readers, are emotionally invested in our hero from the first page. Young Tien Pao and his pet piglet are caught up in the terrible violence of the second world war, and he is separated from his ...more
Jun 20, 2013 Phoebe rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv, china, war, 1930s, 1940s
This Newbery Honor title is a shelf sitter yet it is one of the most exciting and wrenching books about a child's impression of war that I have yet read. Tien Pao is very little when his family's village is attacked by the Japanese and he, his mother, father, baby sister, three ducklings, and a little pig manage to escape by sampan down the river. They float for a long time with no food, and finally reach a village where his parents think to try to get work building a new airfield. Tien Pao must ...more
Nov 30, 2009 Natalie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Natalie by: Newberry Honor, NEH Classics
Tien Pao is all alone behind enemy lines. He had fled with his family from the invading Japanese, but before his family returned from seeking work one day, a heavy rainstorm arose and tore the houseboat from its moorings. Tien Pao, with his pet pig “Glory of the Republic” is swept deep into enemy territory, back to the area where his village had been.
Now he must find his way on foot back upstream to his family. He comes close to starving, but encounters an American airman, and together they mak
Feb 10, 2014 Terri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
A little boy in Japanese invaded China struggles for survival all alone except for the little pot bellied pig, that he has named, Glory of the Republic, that he carries with him tucked under his arm.

While reading this gripping and endearing story of this little boy, the reader also gets a fascinatingly told history of Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). The little boy, Tien Pao, alone in the family's sampan (boat), is swept away down river with his duckling and pot bellied pig.

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Meindert De Jong was an award-winning author of children's books. He was born in the village of Wierum, of the province of Friesland, in the Netherlands.

De Jong immigrated to the United States with his family in 1914. He attended Dutch Calvinist secondary schools and Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and entered the University of Chicago, but left without graduating.

He held various jobs d
More about Meindert DeJong...

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