A good jacket illustration with two authentically dressed children heralds this story set during the Second World War. A conscientious objector, whose wife died in a bombing raid, takes his children Lizzie and Freddie with him as he tries to keep one step ahead of the police who are out to arrest him as he has refused work making munitions. The family hide at Whiteway, a commune (which did exist) and whose inhabitants give them shelter. But even this place is not safe after Lizzie disobeys her father and is seen in the village. Eventually Dad gives himself up and the children are taken in as evacuees by a family in Wales.
From the first the reader is taken to the world of uncertainty for the children and their father. It was not easy to be a ‘conchie’ and this comes through very strongly although there was also the kindness of people willing to understand another point of view. The plot is carried along by the various changes in the children’s lives, with moments of excitement such as the downing of the plane piloted by a Polish airman. The author does not shy away from the sad moments as when Aunty Katie’s son is reported missing, and the children’s letters to their father make their plight very real. This is a story which would read aloud well, and raise many questions about war and those who do not believe it is right to fight.