Ani believes she is just an insignificant whisper of a 12-year-old girl in a loud world. This is what her mother tells her anyway. Her father made her feel important, but he's been off fighting in Spain's Civil War, and his voice in her head is fading. Then she meets Mathias. His family has just moved to Guernica and he's as far from a whisper as a 14-year-old boy can be. Ani thinks Mathias is more like lightning. A boy of action. Mathias's father is part of a spy network and soon Ani finds herself helping him deliver messages to other members of the underground. She's actually making a difference in the world.
And then her world explodes. The sleepy little market town of Guernica is destroyed by Nazi bombers. In one afternoon Ani loses her city, her home, her mother. But in helping the other survivors, Ani gains a sense of her own strength. And she and Mathias make plans to fight back in their own unique way.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2012:
"An engrossing tale set against a compelling, seldom-seen backdrop."
Publishers Weekly, December 21, 2012:
"Gonzalez stages a fast-paced historical thriller against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War...Ani is relatable as she battles with her bitter mother and struggles to identify her own desires and values. Gonzalez escalates the tension as Nazis bomb Guernica and conveys the magnitude of personal and universal loss, leading Ani to forge a future in war—a path she claims with grace and fortitude."
School Library Journal, January 2013:
"This book provides a glimpse into an underrepresented world in juvenile literature, making it a good addition to middle-grade collections. Recommended it to fans of Roland Smith’s Elephant Run."
"The benefit of Gonzalez's novel is that the reader gets to experience Ani's thoughts and feelings firsthand...Ani's story shows the multiple layers of wreckage experienced during WWII, and would be an excellent addition to any Holocaust unit."
From the Hardcover edition.
CHRISTINA DIAZ GONZALEZ made her literary debut with the much acclaimed The Red Umbrella. She lives in Florida with her husband and children.