There is something that immediately draws interest about the plight of children in major conflicts. This novel is a prime example of that interest.
In this novel the main character Amerigo is living in war-torn Naples with his mother. They struggle to eat and live. Their city has been hard hit by the war. They are surrounded by rubble.
In search of a better life and an easier one, Amerigo take a train with hundreds of other children to an area of Italy that is far away. This area has not experienced the same war time damage as Naples. This is in search of a better and easier life, if at least for a while.
Amerigo at such a young age faces very adult situations where his decisions have impacts for years to come. He is forced to think of himself separate from his immediately family in a way that few children ever have to.
This is a great historical novel.