3OH!3, February 11, 2009 (view all comments by 3OH!3)
While Lily Mollohan looks forward to the comforting routine of going to her summer cabin in Rockaway, the ten year-old girl feels the drastic impacts that World War II has on everyone. When Lily is left without her father or best friend, both of whom are involved in supporting the war, she resorts to befriending a Hungarian refugee, Albert.
Patricia Reilly Giff's concise paragraphs that flow together into the speech manner of a young child expertly describe the details in the book. I loved how I could almost feel the sun on my face at the sandy beach, or how I would feel humiliation deep inside as Lily first met Albert and he teased her about her disguise.
I also loved the swingy, up-beat vibe that Giff added as part of growing up in the 1940s. Even though the effects of war were felt, there were still songs mentioned that were full of brass and swing. I could feel like I was sitting in the living right next to Lily's Gram, listening to the radio and hoping for better news about the war.
However, Giff failed to intrigue the reader from the beginning. Lily's story did not start at Rockaway, but when she was packing. I thought that it didn't relate enough to the story and that it bored the reader. If the paragraphs were going to be swift and fast-paced for the rest of the story, the beginning should catch the reader in the same manner.
I believe Giff's style of writing might have had more impact if it started in the present and went back in time and told of Lily's memories of Rockaway. To have it in the present tense it seemed very childish and I thought it had a very low reading level.
Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars because I thought the reading level was a little too low for the potential Giff's topic could have had. I would recommend this novel for grades 5 or 6, but all the way up to grade 8 for analyzing the themes in the book, such as friendship or honesty.
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fiya_8306, January 4, 2007 (view all comments by fiya_8306)
lily's crossing is a superb novel as it provides all the stuff to teenagers. it has themes that are really effective. if reader gets deep in the novel, it makes him/her realize that life is not so simple. but it is not futile. the worth and value of family and friends is clearly stated in the novel.
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by The Horn Book Magazine (Starred Review),
"Details...are woven with great effect into a realistic story."
by Publishers Weekly,
"Exceptional characterizations and a robust story line...this has all the ingredients that best reward readers."
by The New York Times Book Review,
"With wry comedy and intense feeling...Giff gets across a strong sense of what it was like on the home front during World War II...The friendship story is beautifully drawn."
As in years past, Lily will spend the summer in Rockaway, in her family's house by the Atlantic Ocean. But this summer of 1944, World War II has changed everyone's life. Lily's best friend, Margaret, has moved to a wartime factory town and Lily's father is going overseas to the war. There's no one Lily's age in Rockaway until Albert comes, a refugee from Hungary with a secret sewn into his coat. Albert has lost his family in the war; he's been through things Lily can't imagine. But soon they form a friendship. They have secrets to share. They both have told lies, and Lily has told a lie that may cost Albert his life. An ALA Notable Book and a "Boston Globe-Horn Book" Honor Book.
by Random House,
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.
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