We, nobody's children"" . . . nameless, placeless, faceless voices of wartime Poland in brief vignettes of ""The War"" itself--reveries, really, from a freezing grayness where ""strange words are necessary for survival""--and afterward, at somewhat greater length, reaction against ""The Adults."" Especially against ""My Good Ladies"": ""They gave me war like a toy. I played with it, it amused me, and I could color its grayness with promises of 'after the war'. . . . But 'after the war' was a great letdown. . . . Nothing could be colored with what was to be because what was to be was already there."" The ""world of shaking Jello"" (as per ""Twelve Feet to Heaven""). Where on ""An Exceptional Sunday"" a former partisan, shaken by the children's apathy, cries ""What did they all die for?"" At the start the disembodied, unrelated, not dissimilar voices disconcert, the pronouns are hard to pin down, the fugitive presences evaporate. . . only to coalesce cumulatively in the more strongly structured pieces of the second section--a case of form following function? Earlier on the role-reversal of the ""Games"" is an exception but the immediate impact of such comparable titles as The Painted Bird and Child of Our Time is lacking. Which is not to endorse The Painted Bird, with its crippling viciousness, for young people but to suggest that this, which is being published also for adults, is for the young person who, like an adult, reads for the sudden images and pendant meanings.