This poignant and compelling novel, set during World War II, offers plenty of thought-provoking material for older readers. When 12-year-old Patty Bergen, a Jewish girl living in a small town in Arkansas, thinks of her upcoming summer vacation, she only envisions clear blue skies and sunshine for miles around, even though her family life is dark and dreary. Her father doesn't seem to care for her, and her mother has grown into a bitter and angry woman. In short, Patty wishes that something in her life would change. When she hears that a local prison compound for POWs is going to be built in the small town where she lives, she's grateful that she can think about something else, even if it is a troubling thing to think about. Change comes for Patty when she befriends a young German prisoner of war named Anton, who has escaped and is desperate for a place to hide. And he, like Patty, needs someone in his life whom he can trust. Although she's steadfast in her beliefs of what is right and wrong, Patty risks everything and agrees to hide Anton until it's safe. As their friendship grows, she realizes that she's unable to label him a Nazi (as most would do), and sees him as a frightened, young man. The two grow closer and soon find the hope, strength, and love they're unable to find from others, but the risks they endure may be too much for them to bear. This award-winning book (New York Times Book of the Year, National Book Award Finalist, and an ALA Notable Book) keeps readers in its grip, and explores how both Patty and Anton react to the external pressures that threaten their friendship, making it a sink-your-teeth-into-it read that explores complex emotional situations.