Fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony: she lives in "free" France where she and her friends are anything but free. Many of her friends are refugees, displaced from their home countries by the Nazi tide that has flooded all of Europe, and forced to hide in plain sight while dodging Vichy collaborators.
Everyone goes about pretending this is life as usual: food shortages, boots worn through, constantly guarding one's words, catching fragments of war news. But no one does anything-- least of all God--and Magali simply can't understand why. Then Paquerette arrives in town, leading a group of squalid, terrified children and carrying a malnourished baby. Paquerette is a courier, transporting the very small numbers of children she and her organization have persuaded the Nazis to release from the concentration camps.
Magali has found the purpose she craves. When Paquerette asks her to accompany her on one of her rescue trips to bring children back to safe houses, Magali discovers that to "do something" can be far more dangerous, far more exhausting, and far more complicated than she could possibly have imagined.
Overcoming the objections and debilitating fears of her mother and the hurdles set up by her father, Magali bravely sets out to defy the hatred and terror of the Nazi regime. But in her efforts to save at least a few children from certain death, will her brash words and actions demonstrate a courage and maturity beyond her years, or a blind self-confidence and naivete that will bring danger to those she loves?