‘We must catch up with the boat,’ he urged himself. As hard as he tried, Peter was too weak to raise his body from the ground. He cried as he thought of his parents, the salty tears warming his face. After a while he heard a noise that he could not quite place. It gradually grew louder and closer. Then it became terrifyingly clear. ‘Soldiers!’ Peter groaned.
The bond between a man and his dog is unique. For Peter, a boy of 15, it is so strong that he risks his own life to save that of his dog, Wolfi. It is 1942. Peter is Jewish, and with his parents he is escaping the Nazis. A decision to jump into the icy waters of the River Spree to rescue Wolfi ultimately saves his own life as well, for they have been betrayed and his parents are taken. Left to fend for himself, Peter hides out in the woods, foraging and hunting. Life is tough, but he and Wolfi are together.
One day, a visitor stumbles into their den. Franz, also 15, has escaped from a labour camp. The three become close friends and have many adventures together. When they can no longer cope in the wild, they turn to a family friend, Aunt Berta. The wife of a wealthy industrialist, she takes them in. But their peace is short-lived; Kurt, Aunt Berta’s adopted son and a fanatical Nazi, betrays them. With the help of new friends, the two boys not only save themselves from capture but are able to rescue others in hiding.
is a story of friendship overcoming all the odds in a time of hatred for 9-15 year old children. Meticulously researched and written by a former academic with personal experience of Berlin, who has studied original documents from the period, the storylines in the book are based on different survivor accounts. The book’s subject is most comparable to Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief