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The Swallows' Flight

The Swallows' Flight, by Hilary McKay

16/30 | Started 03.16.22 • Finished 04.28.22

"The story is about two young British girls, two young German boys and a dog named Pax, and the events leading up to World War II and during WWII. Hans and Erik were friends since Erik found a bird's nest and asked for worms. Ruby and Kate didn't know each other until just before the war and Pax was a junkyard dog. Erik wanted to be the Berlin zookeeper and Hans wanted to be a pastry seller outside the zoo. Rupert, Kate's uncle, found Pax when he got lost and gave it to Kate. Meanwhile Uncle Karl was teaching Hans and Erik how to fly a plane and when the war started they were flying over the Channel. One day Kate and Ruby, who had been moved to Mrs. Morgan's house, a dogfight appeared in the sky. This is Erik and Hans. Hans is shot down, parachutes out, and gets stuck in a tree while Erik, badly wounded, blacks out and starts plunging toward the ground. Later Erik wakes up, barely regains control of his plane, misses Ruby and Kate who were on the ground, and misses Pax who had dodged. He then takes the top off a haystack and crashes. Ruby and Kate find the plane, pull Erik out, and call for help. His shoulder was saved by Kate's father. Meanwhile, Ruby finds Hans who is stuck in a tree. Ruby gets help and Hans is now a POW, so is Erik, who is sent to a camp in Canada. After the war ends, Hans marries Ruby, Erik gets to know Ruby and Kate from a distance and everyone is safe. Also, Uncle Karl was executed and grandfather dies."

Timothy, age 13

"In Germany, World War II is about to begin. Erik and Hans have grown up expecting this. Ruby has birth marks that greatly upset her and Kate is frail. During the war, Erik almost crashes into Ruby and Kate with their dog, Pax, but takes off the top of a haystack instead. He crashes and they get him out and to the hospital. Hans gets stuck in a tree. Ruby finds him and think it's a talking tree. She finds him and he is later sent to a camp for preparation. Erik goes home."

Neph, age 11

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