A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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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.
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