Description: "Only the closed circle, Mendel, has power, because only the closed circle can keep us whole."
When Mendel's father imparts these words to him, the boy does not at first grasp their full meaning. But he will in the months to come. For the czar's soldiers are riding into villages throughout the Ukraine and seizing Jewish boys for the military. Boys as young as eight are being taken to distant garrisons to serve the czar for twenty-five years. Mendel knows that he too may be taken, but his father'se words enable him to make choices that will alter his life forever.