Monday, July 06, 2009
Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
Lily is a young girl growing up on the East Coast in 1944...right during World War II. Her mother is dead, so she is being raised by her father and grandmother and they visit their beach house each summer in Rockaway. Lily loves these summer days as she visits the beach and plays with her good friend Margaret.
But this summer will be different. With the war in full swing, Margaret's family moves to Chicago and Lily's father is called to serve overseas.
Lily is dreading the summer with no friends her age to play with, until Albert moves to town to stay with family. He is a refugee from war torn Hungary, and holds a great secret. They become fast friends, brought together by a sweet kitten. Lily has a problem to "stretch" the truth, but Albert hasn't been completely honest either and this becomes a major problem...one that could be life or death.
What I Thought:
Wow, what a great story! I love reading anything about this time period this book provides a completely different view on most of the literature I've read about WWII. Instead of a book about the Holocaust, its a story of a child living in the states who befriends a refugee child from Hungary. Albert is taken from his home as a precaution as his parents publish anti-Nazi literature, and if found out they would be in great danger.
The story also shows the life of the family of a WW2 soldier who is left home and worries about their loved one. D-Day and Normandy Beach is mentioned often.
This book is a 1998 Newbery Honor Book, and I've noticed is on a couple of schools' summer reading lists in my area. A superb book.