The United States was just beginning to emerge from the Great Depression of 1930’s when war began to rage in Europe. The United States at this time was not an active participant in the war. However, the U.S. was shipping war materials to England and Russia to aid their effort. The draft to conscript for the service had been initiated in order to develop a state of readiness in the event the U.S. would enter the European War. It was against this backdrop that the Imperial Japanese Navy, allies of Hitler’s Germany, made a surprise attack on the American Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. This single act mobilized the entire nation to build the military forces that would defeat the enemy in Europe and in the Pacific.
The story is about that mobilization and it is developed around one eight-year-old boy and his family as they are forced to move from the rural south into the industrial northeast. The boy becomes a witness to the history that develops daily. He, along with the boys from other families also forced to move to the region, have many adventures as they assimilate into the new community. During this time of shortages and rationing they must improvise in order to try to lead a normal life without the standard accoutrements of their age group. In their desire to live and grow they become ensnarled in many situations that illustrate the temperament and values of the time.
The story hearkens back to a much more innocent and simple time. The historical content is complemented by the humorous activities and behavior of the young boys and their relationship to the adults of that era.