The year is 1932. They place is Berlin, Germany. Gabby Schram is a normal 13 year old girl, but life in Berlin is definitely not normal. There is a new man rising to political power in an obscure part of the country, but he some people, including Gabby's parents, worried. Others think Hitler will restore pride and prosperity to Germany. Gabby isn't sure about Hitler, but she knows she doesn't like the brown shirts, Hitler's private army who are crowding the streets of Berlin.
Life is changing for Gabby and everyone else in Berlin, and Hitler's new army makes her feel ashamed of many things, even her long blonde braids. Gabby doesn't trust her sister's new boyfriend, and she worries for Mr. Einstein who is a colleague of her father's at the university. Even her beloved teacher turns into someone Gabby doesn't recognize.
Is Germany changing for the better, or will Gabby's beloved Germany be turned to ashes?