As the Revolutionary War rages on, Joey Kershaw and his family manage their spacious home in Camden, South Carolina, while their father attempts to protect the town from British forces. But things don't go well for the rebels: In a fierce and bloody battle they are soundly defeated, and those who are not killed are taken prisoner--including Colonel Kershaw. When the town surrenders and is placed under martial law, General Cornwallis takes possession of the Kershaw home as quarters for him and his officers. From the small room the Kershaws are allowed to stay in, they watch the construction of a gallows in their garden, where Colonel Kershaw will be hanged unless he joins the British forces. Myers (Spotting the Leopard, 1996, etc.) maintains her usual high standards for historical fiction, allowing the human drama to remain in the forefront of the story. Joey's vengeful actions result in the death of Captain Harkins, a British officer who showed the boy kindness; Joey moves beyond hatred, his opinions of war--and slavery--forever changed. Finely crafted, the book offers a potent message, unfettered by moralizing, about war.