WWII kid lit: Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

WWII kid lit: Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly GiffLily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
Published: Yearling Books (1997), Paperback, 181pg
Source: Library
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction

When Lily meets Albert, a refugee from Hungary, during the summer of 1944, they begin a special friendship. However, Lily and Albert have both told lies, and Lily has told a lie that may cost Albert his life.

I have loved WWII kid lit ever since I read Ballet Shoes; I’ve been reading historical fiction for nigh on twenty years and I’m still not tired if it. There’s something about a historical setting that just makes any story exciting! Even stories just about regular people doing regular things, like this book, become more fascinating because they’re set in the Past.

Lily’s Crossing is a particular favorite of mine, because it’s about ordinary people (see above) AND it’s emotionally satisfying without being overwrought or gooey. You learn things! Things about living during WWII, yes, but also things about humanity!

There are things about not taking people for granted, not being super judgmental, all that sort of stuff. And it’s presented in a gentle, unobtrusive way– perfect for people who don’t like being moralized to by their kids books.

Lily is a kid whose father has been sent off to help with the war effort. She lives with her grandmother, she has few friends and she’s got an overactive imagination. Her book is about growing up in difficult times, about finding friendship in unusual people, and about what the war meant to people who weren’t directly involved with the actual fighting part.

It’s a very quiet book, by which I mean it doesn’t have any action or spies or Nazis or danger. But it’s a heartfelt book, and I can totally see why it won the Newbery award. It’s the kind of book that’ll punch you in the heart, but gently, so you don’t been know it happened until you’ve finished the last chapter.

Read: April 5, 2014

2 thoughts on “WWII kid lit: Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff”

    1. Yup, this was my first one way back when! I think the only other one of hers I’ve read is The Gift of the Pirate Queen, another favorite of mine.

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