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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

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 bysazaka April 9, 2008

I am not sold on this book

I read this book because my daughter was required to read it for school. Despite the editors claim that Lily's lying would be understood by the reader - t... Continue reading
Adult Written byVeryThankfulMom September 8, 2010
Great descriptive writing but not for kids. Young readers likely to walk away from book thinking that lieing and sneaky behavior are acceptable. Uses a four l... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 23, 2013

A Really Good Book

Some say this book makes kids think that lying and sneaking around is ok, but it really doesn't. Lily gets and trouble for sneaking around and a life is al... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 2, 2013

Just a review

I'm 12 and chose this because it was short but I myself read books 18 year olds would read.

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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