I just realized that Michael Morpurgo also wrote "Private Peaceful", which accounts for some of the things that happen in this story. (read my reveiw for the book "Private Peaceful")
While this book does not have some of the strange things about it like "Private Peaceful", it does not leave you feeling warm and happy in the end much like his other book. I'm not sure which book he wrote first, except this one is for children and the other is for young adults (at least that is where I found them in the library, and I would have to agree).
"Waiting for Anya" is set in France during WWII when Jews are trying to escape the Nazis' wrath. The strange old woman who lives in the hills is actually helping to smuggle Jewish children across the border. The story's hero, a boy, finds out and ends up helping to save many Jews.
This story is a short read, and very sad. I won't be reading it again any time soon.
I have read many WWII stories and have found better ones than this that are true stories (The Hiding Place; In the Shadow of His Hand; I'm 15 and I Don't Want to Die; Yellow Star) and some fictional ones (A Father's Promise; Number the Stars) that better this story by far.
However, it is worth reading if but once.
In the same vein as "Number the Stars" this is a story about Jewish children trying to escape during the war.