A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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
Given a key by a departing friend, Lily ventures into a neighbor's uninhabited house several times.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Humorous use of a mild oath.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.