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The Lily Pond (En ö i havet #2)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  539 ratings  ·  53 reviews
AMildred L. Batchelder Honor Book and an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book, The Lily Pond continues the story of two Jewish sisters who left Austria during WWII/Holocaust and found refuge in Sweden.

A year after Stephie Steiner and her younger sister, Nellie, left Nazi-occupied Vienna, Stephie has finally adapted to life on the rugged Swedish island where she now lives. But
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 1996)
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Mikayla Lynn
Great Book! It's really a peek into the past of how something as simple as what you looked like and believed could get you different and sometimes very harsh treatment. Stephanie (main character) is one of those characters that as you read the book you feel like you are that person. Stephanie is a refuge. She is 13 and is a very good student. At the end she got a letter from Papa and Mama that said that she was forced to grow up too fast and to take care of her little sister Nellie and although ...more
May 03, 2014 Tara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
A quick, fast read. However, I am sad to learn that this series was originally written in German and the next two books have not been translated. Sigh.
I read this book and the one before it, A Faraway Island, several years ago. I loved the first one, but if I recall the main character's personality was completely changed in The Lily Pond. Still a decent read for its level, but the first one is better and perfectly acceptable as a standalone.
1. Text-to-text. This intermediate book surprisingly made me think about how the views are reflected in the United States. This historical fiction book focuses on the life of Stephie as a refugee during World War II in Sweden. I think the view some of the Swedish people took toward the refugees reminds me a lot of the views people in America have towards the refugees and immigrants that are coming to seek asylum here, or for better opportunities. In fact, the TED talk we watched about the single ...more
Julie Feldman
Text-to-Text Reflection: Annika Thor's book, The Lily Pond immediately reminded me of the juvenile fiction book, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. This was one of my favorite historical fiction books I read in elementary school. Both books are set during World War II. In Number the Stars Ellen Rosen lives in Copenhagen and goes to stay with a non-Jewish family to stay safe from the Germans. In The Lily Pond, Stephie leaves her mother and father in Vienna to stay in neutral Sweden. Both characters ...more
Audience: Intermediate

Appeal: If someone likes Diary of Anne Frank, they may find this book enjoyable. This tells the story of 2 girls who are sent away to live with foster parents to get away from the effects of World War II. This would be a good piggy-back book for a unit of WWII.

Award: Sydney Taylor Book Award
Brenda A.
This is the second of the series by Annika Thor, on the journey and lives of these two sisters Stephanie and Nellie who are from Vienna who had to leave their parents and old life behind to begin a new one separated and learn a different language and culture. The book continues on how Stephanie now has to leave her foster home to continue her schooling she lives with a family and falls in love with the family's son. He is older but then she is heartbroken, she has grown up a lot and had to matur ...more
After being sent away from Nazi-occupied Austria to live with foster parents on a small island in Sweden, 13-year-old Stephie wins a scholarship to a grammar school in a nearby Swedish city, and has to leave her foster parents behind.

When she moves in with the family she will be staying with, she quickly finds that although Mr. and Mrs. Soderberg will provide her with food and a room, they do not consider her to be part of the family. Their 17-year-old son Sven is a different matter though, and
Just finished listening to this audio version as we continue our journey home from our summer vacation. This very young adult story deals with a 13 year old Jewish girl sent to live in Sweden by her parents during WWII. Stephenie has aspirations to be A doctor like her father. Since Sweden has offered asylum to Jewish children, kids like Stephenie are being sent to live with strangers to continue their educations in relative safety. Stephenie and her sister are sent to a fishing village on a isl ...more
Jenifer Neilsen
Audience: Intermediate
Genre: Historical fiction
Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book 2012

The Lily Pond is the 2nd book in a series of 4. A year after Stephie Steiner and her younger sister, Nellie, left Nazi-occupied Vienna without their parents, Stephie has finally adapted to life on the old, rugged Swedish island where she now lives. Her life continues to change as her foster parents have allowed her to attend grammar school on the mainland, in Goteberg. Stephie is excited to go as she will be purs
This is the second in the four part series of books, about two Jewish girls from Austria. They were sent to live with families on an island in Sweden. This book takes Stephanie to a larger city to go to school. She lives with a family, and falls in love with the son, who is five years older. She receives letters from her parents, who are trying to leave Austria. The last letter tells of her mother trying to recover from pneumonia, and the rumor, that the Germans are planning to move all the Jews ...more
I liked this one better than I expected to. The previous title kind of lacked something (I wondered if it suffered in translation), so I wasn't terribly excited about this one. I listened to the audio version, which may have improved my view of the book. I certainly found it more interesting than A Faraway Island. Stephie has so much drama in this book, mostly because she is 13 and makes some stupid decisions (boy drama, in particular) but also because of prejudice and a lack of understanding by ...more
April Helms
This is a sequel to A Faraway Island. Stephie and her younger sister Nellie has adapted to life on a Swedish island to escape the dangers of Nazi-occupied Vienna. But Stephie, now 13, is leaving the island for the mainland to go to school, a chance given to her thanks to a scholarship and an arrangement with the Soderbergs, the family who stayed on the island during the summer as temporary lodgers, to allow Stephie to stay at their residence. Stephie is thrilled at the chance to attend school an ...more
I would probably have given the whole serie five stars when I read it in middle school (over 10 years ago).
I read it in a collection book containing all four books. It's a lovely serie about two girls comming to Sweden during WWII. I remember carrying around the book, reading in odd places beacause I liked it so much.
Stephanie Mixon
Stephanie has been living with Aunt Marta on the island since she evacuated Vienna due to WWII, until she makes the decision to further her education in Goteborg by attending a grammar school.
Stephie is exposed to discrimination, worldly temptations, and first love. When confronted with an accusation of cheating on her school work Stephie has enough.

This book can be used in the classroom to share literature about the effects of WWII. This can be a book to show effects of people’s views and how
Sequel to A Faraway Island, yet it would stand just fine on its own. It continues the story of the Steiner sisters, Austrian Jews sent to Sweden for safety during World War II. This volume focuses more on Stephie, now 13, who leaves the island off the Swedish coast to attend school in the city of Goteborg. Though she lives with the doctor's family that vacationed on Sophie's island last year, Stephanie is expected to eat meals with the housekeeper, instead of the family. At school, Stephanie lon ...more
Life in Sweden is challenging for a pair of young sisters as they wait for word that their parents have finally escaped from Vienna, Austria as the Nazis rise in power. There is school to adjust to, teacher prejudice and mistrust, and the beginnings of young love. Told from the perspective of Stephie, we experience the ups and downs and the joys and the humiliation. We also follow the twists and turns of friendships and the kindness of family and friends. This is a thoughtful read... good for gi ...more
Stephie's story continues, and it is just as wonderful as the first book! I am eager to read the other 2 books in this quartet, but they are not translated into English!
Stephanie and Nellie Steiner have been Jewish refugees in Sweden for over a year now. Stephanie has finally grown accustomed to her new life in a strange land. She has become quite the student, having won a scholarship to a well-respected grammar school on the mainland. She will be boarding with friends of her foster parents. Stephanie is especially excited about being able to spend time with Sven, the son of her boarding house hosts. But will Stephanie's romantic feelings towards him be returne ...more
A bittersweet second book in what appears to be a trilogy. I can't wait to read the next one to see just what happens.
Sandy Gamradt
Great story from a Jewish girl's perspective while being displaced during the German occupation.
A lovely book. Very nicely drawn characters, and a great setting and sense of place.
Oct 10, 2013 Nabilakb rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teenagers specifically girls
Recommended to Nabilakb by: I read A faraway Island which was the first book. It was super good so I wanted to read the second one.
I love it how Stephie is like usual teenagers that falls in love with someone, not knowing if he will like her back. She kind of relates to me, her personality and all her feelings about Sven which is the guy she falls in love with. It's a super great book for teenagers specifically girls. I can visualize and even feel the character's happiness or sorrow or sometimes imagining of what she's thinking. To Annika Thor: I really want you to make another series of this story!!! I want to read more of ...more
Erin mcgill
Audience: This book would be most appropriate for grades 4th through 6th. Beucase it is somewhat of a love story, this would most likely appeal more to girls than boys. However, this book is also written about WWII so it might also interest students interested in learning about it.
Appeal: Like i said this is a love story. People who enjoyed reading the Diary of Ann Frank would most likely enjoy this. It's from a different point of view and has a little twist on it. This could be perfect for teen
Molly Panzer
Really good, can't wait for number three
Alyssa Anderson
Intermediate. Realistic, Historical Fiction. Batchelder Honor 2011. Bloom's Taxonomy.

1. What is the name of Stephie's new friend at grammar school?
2. how would you characterize Sven's feelings for Stephie?
3. What examples are there that support the image of Alice's unhappiness?
4. What ideas does Alice use to justify her dislike of Stephie?
5. Would it have been better for Stephie to tell on Alice for cheating?
6. How would you rewrite the story's ending if Stephie had decided to quit school and li
Maia L.
I read this book in Russian - it is the second in a series.
Olivia Rhodes
I would use this book to talk about wars and how children had to leave their families in order to stay safe. I would also want to have the children understand Stephie’s point of view and make sure they knew what she was going through and how she was feeling. She was excited about her new school and new love but she was still worried about her family back home. This would be a great book to use for an older group of students. This was kind of hard to get into but after a little bit it got more in ...more
This is not a good I had originally wanted to read. I ended up getting it for my reading class in college because it had won an award and it was the last one I needed. But after I began to read this book I ended up enjoying it way more than I thought that I would. As someone that is wanting to teach pre-k through 3rd it is not something that I would use in my classroom but for someone that is wanting to teach 4th through 6th grade I believe it would be an awesome book.
How I would use with students:
The Lily Pond could be used to provide middle school age students insight into what life was like for families in World War II. The story can be considered entertaining and educational. The story provides a wide range of vocabulary that to expand students thinking and understanding of the time period. I would create a lesson that included both History and ELA that would be engaging for boys and girls.
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Annika Thor grew up in a Jewish family in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the 1950s and 60s. She started work as a librarian and then went on to work as a film and television critic, and finally dedicated herself to writing books, plays, and screenplays for young people. She is one of Sweden’s best known authors for young people. Her books have been translated into many languages and have won many prizes.
More about Annika Thor...

Other Books in the Series

En ö i havet (4 books)
  • A Faraway Island
  • Havets djup (En ö i havet, #3)
  • Öppet hav (En ö i havet, #4)
A Faraway Island Öppet hav (En ö i havet, #4) Havets djup (En ö i havet, #3) Sandhed eller konsekvens Om inte nu så när

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