As the story begins, twelve year old Petros' biggest worry is the future of his goat, Fifi and the rivalry he has with his difficult older brother, Zola. "History is being made all around us. Don't you want to be part of history?" These are Zola's words as the Germans move in to their world in Greece during World War II. How can young boys who spend their time tending gardens and competing in games of marbles find a way to fight a war? This is an amazing journey based on a true story of how the lives of Greek families were challenged by the war.
The competitiveness of the boys morphs into teamwork delivering inspirational notes under the noses of the German soldiers who loiter in the town. Then, cousin Lambros, a Greek soldier and now a local hero, appears and needs to be hidden. The family hides him in their well until they are able to move him on to a safe location.
All of this is done while a German commander, a colonel, is living in Petros' home. The German soldiers have already commandeered Mama's furniture, heirlooms, and now they have given up a room and must provide food for the soldier as well. This colonel is not a simple, evil enemy. Petros watches him and sees how he is two men. He is the man with boys of his own back in Germany and he is the commander in the German army. Petros has his own idea of how to fight against the domination and the danger.
The attention to the details of family interactions, feelings, cultural traditions and farm life transport you to the place and time and the ending is well worth the wait. Great read.