The pupils of St Matthew's National School in Sandymount, Dublin, describe their impressions of Faraway Home by Marilyn Taylor.
Faraway Home is a heartbreaking story which describes the feelings, the terror, the shock and the sadness of young Jewish refugees at the time of the Second World War.
Karl Muller and his sister Rosa, along with many other Jewish refugees, are separated from their family when they leave Austria on one of the Kindertransports which were organised to take children to safety.
The refugees are crushed by anger and sadness when they leave their families behind. All they have now is the memory of their friends and the hope of making new ones in Northern Ireland.
The story tells us how friendships can develop even though the children are haunted by the memories of the past.
Andreea Stroiescu Faraway Home is a fantastic book, with very good language and humour. Marilyn Taylor describes her characters in such a way that you feel you know them and you are with them. This is a very interesting book based on fact. It is a sad and touching story and I would recommend it to anyone over the age of nine years old.
Faraway Home is about a family who wants to get out of their country, and travel to safety. Stuck in Vienna without hope, Karl and Rosa manage to escape on a Kindertransport and travel to Northern Ireland, leaving their family behind. Living on a farm and having to cope with the unfamiliar farmyard animals presents a challenge. A friendship develops between the refugees and some of the Dublin children sent up as volunteers to help. Jennifer Byrne
Marilyn Taylor visited our school and told us all about her books. The first book she wrote was called Could This Be Love, I Wondered? and that is the first part of a trilogy. The second is called Could I Love A Stranger? and the final book is Call Yourself A Friend?
Ms. Taylor started off working at a school library, found out what kind of books teenagers liked and then starting writing them. Her advice to young writers is that it's best to write about things you know and to use personal experiences. She also says to start a story by just getting into it instead of giving a description of your characters.
I like Faraway Home because it was interesting and sad. It kept you waiting to turn the pages.
Marilyn Taylor is a superb writer. In our school she read some extracts from some of her other books that she had written -- they're all very gripping stories that every young adult should read. Marilyn is a great woman and she gave us a lot of advice on how to write a story. She told us things that we didn't know about how to write what you know about. It makes you really think what you can achieve in life, especially because she does every good thing that comes her way.
She has done a lot of research on World War II so she could get her book right. She got her husband to drive on the road that is in the book to see how smooth it was. She interviewed people that had lived in Millisle in the war and people sent her their diaries and some photographs. Some people said it was too sad to think back to the war.