In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he's forced to become pen pals with Charlie Levy of Paris, France - a girl. In spite of Alex's reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic - and along with them, the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature. From the desolation of an internment camp to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.