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Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curacao. War has always been a game to him and he's eager to witness it first hand - until the freighter he and his mother are travelling on to the USA is torpedoed. Philip wakes to find himself adrift on a small raft in the middle of the ocean with an old West Indian man.
Together they become marooned on a tiny deserted island. This moving story tells of their struggle to survive and is also a fascinating study of the relationship between a young white American boy influenced by his mother's prejudices, and a black man upon whom Philip's life depends.