This ambitious historical vel is a follow-up to Amanda West Lewis's very successful vel, September 17, published in 2013. Peter Gruber is a ten year old German boy who, in May of 1939, is dealing with the drowning death of his closest friend, living with his mother in Hamburg. The vel follows his life through the war years and the ultimate defeat of Germany - and explores how an intelligent, sensitive youth responds to the propaganda and posturing of the Nazis. It also provides insights into the realities of living in a country at war, seen through the eyes of a boy who is drawn into the Hitler Youth and who has growing misgivings about what he is being told about his country and its destiny.
Amanda West Lewisis the author of the critically acclaimed young adult historical novel, September 17. She lives in Ottawa.