Linda The nature of war is very brutal. There are many deaths and a boy is beaten until he has brain damage. There is a rape scene but it is not graphic. There is no graphic sex and no bad language. Emotionally it is tough but war is a tough subject. It is probably no more graphic than many YA novels. I think the hard part would be that World War II was real and these things happened to real people. But part of it are almost magical, as when the German brother and sister hear the science programs coming through the air late at night. If a teen can deal with war being terrible, than a teen can read this because there is also much love in this book, love between relatives, love between people fighting for the same cause, love between soldiers, love of a nun for her orphans. Not sexual love--but the kind of love that would make someone give his or her life to protect the others.