An introductory section ""About This Story"" explains that World War II came to the tiny Alaskan island of Attu, close to Japan, when Japanese soldiers landed on June 3, 1942, and goes on to describe how they captured Attu Village--an episode then replayed from the point of view of two Aleut children providentially at loose, sensible twelve-year-old Susan and her independent-minded younger brother Sidak, who's determined to battle the invaders. There are some fictional elaborations (grandmother has just died, father is away), as well as a droning theme, the value of the ""Old Ways,"" but their collective effect on the course of the story is slight. Partly it concerns Susan's efforts to prevent Sidak from doing something rash, and partly it revolves around an injured Japanese soldier whom the children find and succor (""the Old Ways tell us we must love even our enemy""). He doesn't betray them, reassuringly, and they're able to alert the U.S. Navy to the villagers' plight. In construct, characterization, style (""Together we will think of a way to free our people""), this is simplicity in slow motion--but, just as evidently, sincere.