Lily's Crossing

Book review by
S. K. List, Common Sense Media
Lily's Crossing Book Poster Image
Lets readers walk in the shoes of a tweenage girl.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A beautifully done examination of a 10-year-old girl's experiences of war, loss, new friendships and loneliness. This story covers a range of emotions, but does so with care.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Given a key by a departing friend, Lily ventures into a neighbor's uninhabited house several times.


Albert describes what he knows about the Nazis' capture of his parents, his attempt to escape Europe with his younger sister, and their separation when his sister became ill.


Humorous use of a mild oath.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book, written so well it appears effortless, lets readers inhabit the world of a 10-year-old girl dealing with loneliness, a new friendship, and the impacts of war during her summer vacation.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynewjoy2day July 3, 2013

Lily's Crossing as an Introduction to WW2

I read this book for Battle of the Books in 5th grade and I feel it is a very appropriate for that age range. It is a work that is a bit slower so it takes some... Continue reading
Adult Written bywolflordz194 December 27, 2011

don"t overlook classics!

first off "it swears in first chapter" give it up good reading is always close to reality. welcome to real life!
Teen, 13 years old Written bykaelalove April 9, 2008

this was awseome

it kind of confused me couse i was also reading willows run but over all it was awesome i would also recemengd pictures of hollis woods i also that that book wa... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPaige D January 29, 2019

Lily's Crossing Book review

Lily's crossing tells younger readers, such as myself, more about how kids closer to our age lived during world war II. We always hear about the people who... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the last summer of World War II, ten-year-old Lily meets a young Hungarian refugee who's come to the Long Island beach community to be safe from the war. With delicate but authoritative writing, the author brings these two distinctive youngsters together and makes them allies against loneliness.


Is it any good?

With meticulously chosen details, Giff lets us into Lily's life -- past and present -- and makes us care about what the future holds for her. It's clear that the author, who spent her own childhood summers in Rockaway, knows her landscape; she leads readers to inhabit Lily's world: beach sand and tarry streets, hot breezes and houses on stilts at the water's edge. They feel the impact of war: rationing, radio news, censored mail, and reports of a neighbor missing in action. They feel Lily's loneliness and know why she stretches the truth.

Giff slowly and persistently connects her readers to the heroine, and, as with friendships in real life, makes the friendship that is at the core of this novel heartfelt. Young readers will recognize this honesty at once and will take to this book with devotion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Lily deals with her situation.

  • How does she handle her frustrations?

  • How does her new friendship change her outlook on things?

Book details

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