In 1811, Napoleon calls on soldiers from all over Europe to join his Grande Armťe on a campaign to conquer the Russian Empire. In Wurttemburg, Germany a young farmhand named Adam is tricked by his master to serve in the army in place of the farmerís son. Adamís sadistic sergeant is determined to make his life miserable, but luck is on Adamís side when a wealthy young lieutenant chooses him to be his personal servant. Forging a powerful friendship, the two young men endure the cold and hunger of the march to Russia and the brutality of war that awaits them there. Winner of the 2006 Batchelder Award for the best work of fiction for young people translated into English from another language.