An Indian summer, 1942: 'When I was thirteen, all I wanted to be was a hero.' A young evacuee's response to the surrounding war-obsessed adult world seems the only one available to him, until he forms 'a particular friendship' with another boy, a Jewish refugee. This threatens the stability of his gang (who also mirror the racist/jingoist attitudes of adulthood), and he is caught in Forster's great liberal crux: your country or your friend? A celebration of all that is lost and found in the process of growth, all the more remarkable for the performances of the boys involved, who act the adults into the ground. CPea.