What happens to a 10-year-old boy whose father is killed in war? Orlev tells Yossi’s story sensitively and convincingly, shedding light on a painful topic many children have to cope with.
Yossi's mother and teacher worry a lot: Yossi has stopped studying and behaves wildly. After talking it over with the teacher, his mother proposes that he meet a "big brother." That's a college student who "does things that a father would do," she explains to Yossi, because "boys whose fathers have died need to be around a man."
The book deals with the up-and-down relationship that develops between the two. Yossi has fun with his new friend, who has a sports car and a dog, but he also gets angry and suspicious, especially when he discovers that Yoav has a girlfriend. The plot twists and turns, but eventually common sense triumphs. "Do you know what I dreamed about when I was your age?" Yoav asks Yossi one day. "I wanted to build a high tree-house and to sleep there in the summer." And you can be sure that Yoav’s dream, which also captures Yossi’s fancy, will come true.
Illustrations: Danny Kerman