From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—In 1941, when Germans occupy their small Greek town and the commandant comes to live in their house, 12-year-old Petros and his family hide their American connections and an escaping Greek resistance fighter as well. Based on Akila Couloumbis's wartime recollections, this novel is a grand read: an adventure full of the particulars of boys' play, and an unusual perspective on World War II lives. From the opening bird-shooting contest, it is clear that for Petros, his older brother, and his friends, these games will also be life-or-death matters. The suspense mounts as first they wait for the Germans, then for the commandant, and finally for a time when their cousin Lambros can move on. Details of farm life are woven naturally into the third-person narrative, with just enough explanation for readers to imagine their way into that world. The authors maintain the boy's perspective, including his conflicting feelings about the German corporal who encourages his play but represents the detested enemy. Realistic family dynamics include sibling rivalries stretching on into adulthood. The climactic violence is believable, and the resolution—though it takes place offstage—is deeply satisfying. Memorable.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, November/December 2009:
"A gripping story."