Former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo remembers the post-war Britain of his childhood in this unflinching and deeply poignant tale of the physical and mental scars of war. From a young age, Michael is both fascinated by and afraid of his grandfather. Grandpa's ship was torpedoed during the Second World War, leaving him with terrible burns. Every time he comes to stay, Michael is warned by his mother that he must not stare, he must not make too much noise, he must not ask Grandpa any questions about his past. As he grows older, Michael stays with his grandfather during the summer holidays, and as he finally learns the story behind his injuries, he gets to know the real man behind the solemn figure from his childhood. Michael begins to see beyond the burns, and this gives him the power to begin healing some of the scars that have divided his family for so long.