"Proffy", short for Professor, is a twelve and a half year-old boy, living in Jerusalem in 1947. on the eve of Israeli Statehood. He desires to be a "Panther in the Basement", i.e. a freedom fighter for the Jewish State, taking his as his models, movie stars from fictional films of the forties. His zeal is accidentally thwarted by his clandestine friendship with a British soldier who, in the guise of teaching him English in exchange for Hebrew lessons, teaches him the humanity of the enemy. Termed a traitor by his peers, Proffy struggles to maintain his membership in their secret organization. How the boy deals with his conflicting emotions along with his awakening awareness of the opposite sex is a story told with humor and virtuosity by this prizewinning novelist.
This report prepared by B.J. Korson