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Lily's Crossing
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About the Author

Patricia Reilly Giff has recieved the Newbery Honor for Pictures of Hollis Woods and Lily's Crossing, which is also a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. Nory Ryan's Song was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA Notable Book.

Reviews

Gr 3-6‘Lily is looking forward to spending the summer of 1944 at her family's beach home in this book by Patricia Reilly Giff (Delacorte, 1997). To Lily, World War II has been little more than an annoyance (the scarcity of candy) or an excuse for elaborate lies (claiming her aunt is a spy). Then Lily receives the first of many blows the war will deliver. Her only friend, Margaret, announces her family is moving to Detroit so her father can work in a war plant. Lily's father enlists in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Left alone with her bossy grandmother, Lily begins to realize the depth of tragedy the war can cause. This lesson is made stronger when she meets Albert, a young refugee from Hungary, who lost both parents to the Nazis. Albert's dream is to be reunited with his sister who is somewhere in France. Lily's thoughtless lies convince Albert that he can swim out to a troop ship and then make his way to France. When this leads to almost tragic consequences, Lily makes a genuine crossing, not only to adulthood, but towards a true and lasting friendship with Albert. Details of life on the home front are sometimes humorous, but more often heartbreaking. This wonderful story is made even more moving by Christina Moore's vibrant narration. An excellent rendition of a touching and beautiful book.‘Melissa Hudak, formerly North Suburban District Library, Loves Park, IL

Named a 1998 Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, and a Boston Globe--Horn Book Honor Book.

"Details...are woven with great effect into a realistic story."
--The Horn Book Magazine, starred "Exceptional characterizations and a robust story line...this has all the ingredients that best reward readers."
--Publishers Weekly "Brilliantly told."
--The New York Times Book Review "With wry comedy and intense feeling...Giff gets across a strong sense of what it was like on the home front during World War II...The friendship story is beautifully drawn."
--Booklist

Exceptional characterizations and a robust story line turn this WWII homefront novel into far more than a period piece. Spending the summer of '44 at her family's vacation home on the Atlantic, Lily feels angry and deserted when her widower father joins the Army and is sent to Europe just after the Allied invasion. Her ever-critical Gram seems to be breathing down her neck at every turn, and Lily has gotten off on the wrong foot with Albert, the Hungarian refugee boy staying with neighbors. She just can't seem to break out of her self-described role as "a last-row, last-seat kid in school with terrible marks... [who] told lies every other minute." Giff keeps the spotlight off Lily's flaws, refraining as well from overtly linking them to her self-consciousness at being motherless. Rather, she uses them to generate the plot: as Lily and Albert work their way into friendship, Lily tells a lie with unexpected and potentially dangerous consequences. Lily learns her lesson in a resolution that feels psychologically true. In the background, characters cope with wartime shortages, stumble into tragedy as sons and brothers fall in battle-in short, lead complicated lives with the hope of redemption. Closely observed, quickly paced and warmly told, this has all the ingredients that best reward readers. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

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