Cory Woodford is eager to prove his bravery, just like his grandpa, a World War I hero, and his dad, serving in World War II.
He drags his mates, Aidan and Sawyer, on a mission to prove that their neighbor Ziegler is a Nazi spy: he's German, after all. Aidan and Sawyer are not convinced but, tired of Cory's boasts, go along primarily to tease Cory about his failures. They almost entirely ostracize Cory when he befriends a girl, Anne. Cory is sure he'd succeed at his task if only he had a superhero's powers. The tension and rivalry among the boys is compounded by stereotypes and prejudice that intensify as the war hits closer to home. Cory's dad dies, and Aidan's brother becomes a conscientious objector. The final straw: Anne is German! Emotions are raw. Cory has some revelatory talks with his mother and must reconsider whether mettle is inherited. He also does some soul-searching through his own comic-book-strip creation and alter ego, Warrior's Kid, who has a parallel storyline. The two stories play off each other, the graphic panels punctuating Cory’s ingenuous narration.
A mild and appealing historical tale with relevance to current events, as the author points out in her note. (bibliography, further resources.) (Historical fiction/graphic hybrid. 8-12)