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, and more. 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.
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A fast paced thriller (set) against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. 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. – Publisher’s Weekly
An engrossing tale set against a compelling, seldom-seen backdrop. – Kirkus Review
This book provides a glimpse into an underrepresented world in juvenile literature, making it a good addition to middle-grade collections. – School Library Journal
Ani’s story shows the multiple layers of wreckage during WWII, and would be an excellent addition to any Holocaust unit. – VOYA
This painterly novel offers an intimate, immediate look at the Spanish Civil War and the depths of personal strength necessary to survive. – Booklist