Few novels dealing with young people living under German occupation are entirely dull or unsympathetic, and Terlouw's, which was named the best Dutch juvenile of 1973, creates a proper balance of moral earnestness and physical adventure. Unfortunately, neither the central situation--which is reminiscent of Woodford's Backwater War (1975)--nor individual episodes have much originality or resonance. (There's even a scene recalling Mark Twain where a Jew dressed as a peasant woman for an escape is tested by an apple thrown at his lap.) And except for the hero, young Michiel, the characters have a shadowy sameness, the men generally stoical and the women somewhat soft-headed. Acceptable as straight adventure, this nevertheless seems fiat and unevocative when compared with Benchley's Bright Candles or even Woodford's story, in which rationing and fear of reprisals generated a more authentic tension.