A dry, disappointing story of two children fleeing Nazi-occupied France. After escaping from Paris with his mother just ahad of the German army, Bertrand summers with other children in a school, then is taken to his grandmother's home near the Swiss border. Meanwhile, Zina copes with loneliness and boredom near the Spanish border. The two plot lines converge when Bertrand and Zina become members of a group of refugee children being sent to America. Both feel abandoned by their parents; Zina responds by going mute, Bertrand with a fragile bravado. Throughout, the children's bewilderment and sense of loss are clear, but they cross southern France, Spain, and Portugal largely oblivious to the world through which they travel, and their journey is more monotonous than dangerous. It's also incomplete; Howard (The Tower Room, 1993, etc.) ends the tale by leaving her protagonists on a bus in Lisbon, heading for the ship that will carry them overseas. Zina regains her voice and Bertrand loses his fear, but they never clearly realize just why they've been sent away, and readers expecting them to reach safety will find the conclusion precipitate.