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War Games

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
1941. Greece. For 12-year-old Petros, World War II feels far away. But when the Germans invade Greece, the war is suddenly impossibly close.  Overnight, neighbors become enemies. People begin to keep secrets (Petros's family most of all). And for the first time, Petros has the chance to prove himself to his older brother, Zola. Soon what were once just boys' games become m ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Yearling (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jacob Johnson
Nov 18, 2014 Jacob Johnson is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book2
The summary of this novel is that Petros, a Greek-American boy, is caught in the midst of World War II. his cousin Lambros, a well-known Greek soldier, has came home during a German occupation. Lambros has done many things to the Germans to make them not like him so once he came home he put Petros' family in danger. Petros is trying to keep his family safe and so is his Papa. Then when a high-ranking German officer move in with them, the danger for Petros and his family double. Petros is a hard- ...more
Jun 29, 2010 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-horn-fanfare
Loved this book.
It's a story about how resistance comes in many forms. This is the story of a greek family in a small town that stands between the German army and the Suez Canal. Two brothers enlist their friends to help resist the occupation in small ways. Eventually, they are placed in a situation where they are forced to grow up a bit more and their bravery is tested. They grow in independence and as a family. Based on true events, this tells a not-often-heard side of WWII.
Full of great char
Mary Louise Sanchez
American born twelve-year-old Petros and his older brother, Zola, have lived in their Greek community for most of their childhoods because their family came back to Greece during the Great Depression. Life is pretty much the same on their farm even though there's a war going on and Italian soldiers are in their midst. Now the Germans have arrived and everything is different. The boys have a cousin, Lambros, who is a resistance fighter. Petros and Zola do their own part to raise the morale of the ...more
Tim C
Oct 01, 2015 Tim C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Petros, a 12 year old boy living in a small town in Greece, WWII seems out of the way and not his problem. Petros was used playing with marbles with his friends and getting in fights with Zola, his older brother. That is until the Nazi’s invade Greece. Overnight friends become bitter enemies and Petros and Zola wonder if they can make a difference like their resistance fighter cousin.
Couloumbis uses an unusual way of telling a historical fiction. He tells it through a family in Greece, which
Jean Areecharoenlert
I recently finished a book called War Games written by Audrey and Akila Couloumbis. This book is based on a true story of Akila Couloumbis during the time he lived in World War II. In this book, Akila is resembled as a character named Petros. Petros lives in Amphissa, Greece but was born in America making him have dual citizenship. Not only Petros, but his siblings also have dual citizenship. And Germans shoot people who were American, so Petros's family had to hide the secret of the family bein ...more
Feb 03, 2011 Marsha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
This was an interesting story, but I didn't care for the writing. It is based on the true story of the author's husband. Petras is a young boy in Greece during World War II. His family had come to America, where he was born an American citizen, but had gone back to Greece in 1932 because their store failed during the depression. When the Germans occupied the small village in which they lived, they were terrified the Germans would find out they had ties to America, and so they buried or burned ev ...more
Feb 27, 2011 Nolan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book was reaaaaallyyyy sloww, in the beginning and really hard for me to read. It is based on a true story about a family who left the US and went to Greece. As the war broke out, they found themselves stuck there, no way home to america.

Petro's, the younger brother is 12 years old and very sweet hearted. Now his brother, Zola, is competitive and a couple years older. Zola has to be number 1, he has to be first. The boys feel like the war is years away, when yet, it is right around the cor
May 07, 2013 6forbes_jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book War Games is about a bunch of kids that have to live on the army base because there loved ones are in the army. The main character in the story is pedros. He as at the age of 12. both of his parents are in the army and are currently in afghan. the main part of this story is that the kids are trying to do something during the day because they cannot leave the army base. So the group of kids find marbles and a deck of cards to play with to occupy them during the day and during the week wh ...more
Ms. Patterson
WAR GAMES tells of a the German invasion of Greece during World War II from a boy's perspective. Based on one of the author's own experiences, one gets a feeling of the emotions -- fear, excitement, impatience, resentment, resignation -- that many go through during times of war. Focusing on one boy and his family, with glimpses of others in his village, the reader can imagine what life was like during this time period.

Books about World War II are very popular with the middle grades. Most start o
Mar 22, 2010 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-ya-lit
Couloumbis' story is slow in the beginning---so much, I almost gave up completely---but patience paid off in this original story of WWII. Petros' family has immigrated from the U.S. to Greece, and when the war breaks out, they find themselves unable to safely travel back to the U.S., and incredibly having to house Germans. The story tells of the Resistance and of American ex-pats living in Greece during the war, a story that is seldom if ever told in YA literature. Once the author sets up the st ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-books
I found this book particularly interesting, since it took place in Greece during the Nazi occupation (which I knew little about). Petros and his older brother Zola are American born, but have lived in a small village in Greece for nearly their entire lives. While the Italians have occupied Greece for some time, not much harm had come to the Greeks. However, when the Germans arrive, change and fear soom become apparent. Petros and his family are forced to keep secret their American connection, wh ...more
Feb 07, 2010 Laurie added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wendy Burton
Recommended to Laurie by: Horn Book Fanfare, I think
While slow-moving at times, I was glad I stuck with this WWII story that takes you with immediacy to wartime Greece. I really felt that I had a look at life in a Greek town in the 1940s--not looking back at it, but living through it. And, sorry if this is a superficial comment about a serious book, but the meals they prepare, even under spartan conditions, sound absolutely delicious. (Wendy, you should read this book; you will really appreciate the food.)

I hope students who are interested in WWI
Dominic Drudge
This book was a really good book is would give it a 10/10. The author was really good and keeping it interesting and keeping me wanting to read the book. She used good writing and interesting words the made a picture in my head about what was going on and it made the story a lot more fun to read because I felt like I was in the action as it was happening right before my eyes. This book was some what close to books I read from a series called Orcha Sounding they were really good a well. I recomme ...more
Maine Student Book Award Nominee, 2010-2011. Historical fiction book set in Greece during World War II, this book is based on the true story of the author's husband as a young boy. Petros lives the good life in a small Greek village playing marbles with his friends, climbing trees, tending his garden and his goat, until the Germans come to town. Now everyone is afraid and mistrustful. The German commander takes up residence in his house, and Petros and his family are terrified that the Germans w ...more
Tyler Phillips
Nov 25, 2014 Tyler Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Garvin Crews
Jan 23, 2017 Garvin Crews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book war games Petros is a twelve year old boy in greece and its world war two. Germany is invading greece and he and his family have to survive through the war. Everyone is fighting on what to do or who right and petros show that he can be counted on.
This book was very exciting. Many of the characters showed grit but families fought and argued about the war. The way the book was written was easy to read but also very detailed. The book was sometimes hard to understand but got the point a
Victoria Whipple
Based on a true story, this book follows the actions of Petros and his family as the German army is occupying his town and house in Greece during WWII. They are trying to hide his cousin who is wanted by the Germans for several reasons. The war and occupation put an end the the carefree, secure life he's known thus far. He is both frightened by and in awe of the German commander who occupies his house and shows the family his human side. Almost everyone involved needs to rationalize their action ...more
This boy Petros lives in Greece with his older brother Zola and family. There is a war going ono between Greece and Germany. At his house sometimes German soldiers come and kind of bother them, by like taking food from their garden. In his town Italian soldiers stay there to fight on the border. Petros has goats and when his goat had babies there was only males and to them that was bad luck. So they go and trade with their uncle for a female. Petros uncle Spiro gives him a marble with an america ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: msba-nominees
MSBA Nominee 2010/2011

This is my least favorite of the war offerings on this year's MSBA list. Petros is a boy in WWII Greece who is picked on by his older brother Zola. The Italians are already hanging about, and there are rumors that the Germans will move in at any time. Petros and his brother get involved in some dangerous games in an attempt to help the war effort. Based on Akila Coloumbis' life.
Dec 04, 2009 Joan rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Based on a true story, this shows how children can adapt to new situations and survive. Petros and Zola grow up with the dangers of World War II literally in their own house. They still play their childhood games, but now they take on a whole new meaning as they play to survive. This courageous and heartwarming story stayed alive in Akila Couloumbis' mind for a lifetime. With the help of his wife, he published it before his death last year. I am glad he shared this story with the world.
Paisley Grace
I really really enjoyed this book. Parts of the beginning were a little bit of a slow pace for my liking but once I hit the middle of the book I couldn't put it down. I really loved the character Petros and his boyish charms and sense of adventure through out the story. Also after reading the blip in the back about the authors and his family being what the book was based on made me like it even more.
Jun 10, 2010 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
An OK book that takes place during WWII. I think it suffers because of so many excellent books in the same subject. There just wasn't enough to get me 'in' to the story and the characters. It was fairly superficial, almost felt like an abridged version. Interesting story, just wish it was more fleshed out.
This book almost failed my "50 page rule" The first few chapters were so slow that I almost gave up on the book. I'm so glad I didn't. It's really different WWII story based on the life of the author's husband.

I reccommend this for students in 5-8th grade who need to read historical fiction/WWII book, but don't want a holocaust story.
I am always drawn to books that handle difficult and tragic historical events through the eyes of young children. This book delves into the complicated emotions of a young boy who is drawn to the mythical thrill of war and German occupation while simultaneously fearing the changes it will force on his way of living. It's light while treating a heavy topic. Enjoyable.
Feb 01, 2013 Loganl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't understand the plot to this book or really the message. It wasn't your average plot where it rises and falls and I think I read it when I was too young to understand. Or it may be that I just don't like Historical Fiction enough to really enjoy a story. Whatever the reason this book was far from good in my opinion.
Dec 29, 2010 Rosie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This unusual story takes place in Greece during the German invasion of WWII. While it was interesting seeing the war from a Greek family's point of view, I wish there was a little more background to the story. It was interesting, but fell a little flat for me.
Addison Children
Based on her husband's boyhood growing up in occupied Greece during the Second World War, this book has wide boy appeal. Petros is just a boy playing boy games when overnight, thoughts, words, and actions become matters of life and death.
Set in Greece during the early years of WWII when the Germans invaded there enough action and sibling interplay in this one to keep the interest of boys who are dreading the "read historical fiction" assignment. It is based on real life of the author's husband.
Jan 30, 2010 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chapter, historical, war
The Author's husband was a child in Greece during WWII. This is his story about what his life became after the Italians and then the Germans invaded his country. Good historical prospective, although I don't see it keeping kids interested.
Sep 07, 2011 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was a little disappointed. It was a little slow to start and then finally picked up. Did not get really excited until the very end of the book. Definitely good for an adolescent (which is the audience I think the book was written for) but I was personally expecting more from the book.
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What's The Name o...: YA book set in WWII Greece, marbles.. [s] 9 18 Aug 14, 2013 10:32PM  
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