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Lily's Crossing

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,791 Ratings  ·  502 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 181 pages
Published January 12th 1999 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1997)
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Freya Yes, I love this book and im 11 years old its a great book! One of the best I have read.
Lobstergirl Sam, Corinna, Albert, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Smith, Fanny Horback, Aunt Winnie, Uncle Methusaleh, Judge Roy Burn
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloHatchet by Gary PaulsenPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale
Newbery Medal Honor Books
58th out of 314 books — 333 voters
Number the Stars by Lois LowryBreathing Room by Marsha HaylesLily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly GiffThe War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker BradleyThe Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Middle Grade set in the 1940s
3rd out of 105 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Corena Fitch
Apr 02, 2012 Corena Fitch rated it it was amazing
Lily’s Crossing is a historical fiction book that takes place in the summer of 1944, during World War II. Lily is a young girl who is about to start her summer in Rockaway Beach with her grandmother. She has plans to fish and spend time with her good friend Margret who lives there. Her father is supposed to visit every weekend and share in her time there. Nothing goes as it is planned though; Margret’s family has to move because her father must start making bomber planes for the war and Lily’s f ...more
Linda Lipko
Sep 25, 2010 Linda Lipko rated it really liked it
Lily loves to lie. The lies flow fast and easy. Each time she vows not to lie, another one slides right on out of her mouth. Lily just cannot help herself.

The setting is Rockaway, NJ where Lily, her grandmother and father spend idyllic summers. But the summer of 1944 is different and lives are changed because of WWII. Lily's best friend moves to Detroit where her father can build bombs, the seaside boardwalk is empty and Lily's father is going oversees to fight in the war.

Having lost a mother in
Oct 23, 2011 Christina rated it it was ok
Shelves: youth
Eh, it wasn't a bad book really, but I was a little disappointed. I wanted to like this book. The summary sounded interesting, and the reason I picked it up in the first place was because I read Patricia Reilly Giff's book Wild Girl recently and thought it was great. But this book . . . it just didn't do it for me. Lily is a brat, as is Margaret, so right from the beginning I found myself disliking her and hoping that she would get into trouble. With the introduction of Albert (good guy, but wri ...more
Aug 11, 2009 Brandi rated it liked it
I saw this at the library--it's a Newbery awarded book so I thought I would read it. This book was set near the end of WWII and offers a different perspective of the war than I had previously read. It's an easy summer read and I think for kids, a good eye-opener to some of the hard things kids had to go through during the war.

What I didn't like: The protagonist is naughty, she steals, lies, sneaks into movies, and is mean to her grandmother. The whole first half of the book all I could think was
Mar 19, 2013 Heatherk rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I am rating so it might no be very good. Anyway, Lilly's Crossing is about a girl in the hard times of World War 2 she is all alone in her summer home until an immigrant her age comes to town his name is Albert from Hungary he had to leave his sister in France. He is alone too. But they come very close. But after the summer when Lilly leaves to go back to school will they ever see each other again? (this book is historical fiction) -heather kroesche
Aug 05, 2008 booklady rated it liked it
Shelves: 2002, youth, children
You know how there are some characters you just can't warm up to? I didn't care for this little girl at all in the beginning of this story. Lily is dishonest, rude and disrespectful right off the bat. I suppose I knew she had her reasons and usually I'm much more empathetic towards children in stories--assuming their naughty behavior has an explanation. So I'm still not sure why I never quite took to Lily.
Amber Harper
Oct 12, 2015 Amber Harper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Literature helps us see life from others' perspectives, and Lily's Crossing has the potential to show upper elementary students what it would have felt like firsthand to have lived during World War II. In this story, Lily has always looked forward to summers on the beach in Rockaway with her dad, but this year is going to be different. Lily's father has gone to Europe to fight in the war, and Margaret (Lily's constant summer sidekick in years past) has moved with her family to Michigan to help w ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Chinook rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, kait
Meh. It was fine and there would be a lot of good discussion points in a classroom , but it bored me a bit.
Laura Verret
Lily can’t wait for summer vacation. Not only will she be returning to Rockaway (the beach!), but she will get to spend all her time playing with her best friend, Margaret, and not playing on her beastly piano. And Poppy, her father, will come down to spend a few weekends there with her! Things could not be better!

And then the tragedies start. First, she learns that Poppy has arranged to have her piano sent to Rockaway so that she can practice right through the summer, bother it. And then, Marga
Barb Terpstra
Sep 08, 2012 Barb Terpstra rated it really liked it
As I consider what I liked best about this story, I think it is the expression of Lily's contrary feelings. Remember when you were young and you loved your mom, but you disliked her too? When your mom showed you expressions of love, you may have shunned them. Contrary. A perfect expression of those teenage emotions. And stubborn. Too stubborn to give in to those soft feelings.

Lily has those feelings towards her Gram. She feels mad at her dad who is leaving her to serve in the war. She doesn't ha
May 27, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it
I wanted to read Lily's Crossing to make sure it was age appropriate for my niece. It was and I hope she will enjoy it. Lily lives in Brooklyn and summers in Rockaway beach. it is 1944 and the war is effecting Lily and her friends, Margaret and Albert. Each has a member of their family away due to the war. Lily has a way of exaggerating the truth which gets her in trouble and Albert is a boy from Hungary who just wants to be with his family again. There is a childlike innocence to the story that ...more
Jun 05, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-books
This book was amazing. I don't know why it was great but the concept was clean and fresh. This book made me cry to be honest, because every chapter was a new surprise. :) Patricia Riley Giff, make another!!!!
Darcy Stewart
Jul 14, 2009 Darcy Stewart rated it really liked it
In Lily's Crossing, Lily must move to Rockaway, NY for the summer. Her father is sent to Europe. Her father promises to tell her where he is secretly. Her best friend Margaret must move near a factory where her dad works. Albert a refugee from Hungary stays with the Orbans for the summer. Albert is looking for his sister Ruth who got sick in France and was taken a nunnery. Lily promises him that she will go with him to France to help find his sister. Over time Lily and Albert become best friends ...more
Katie Jackson
Oct 03, 2011 Katie Jackson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-award
This book is a winner of the Newbery book award. Lily loves to lie but when her dad is sent over seas for the war she meets a friend, Albert who is a Hungary refugee, she feels that she can't lie to. They become great friends but at the end of the summer they leave the Atlantic. Alber goes to Canada and Lily goes back to her house. When returning to the Atlantic, Lily didn't know that Albert came back. She was excited to see him and his sister Rose who was left in Hungary because she was ill. Li ...more
May 12, 2016 Amber rated it it was amazing
The novel “Lily's Crossing” is a historical fiction book written by Patricia Reilly Giff. It took place in the 1940’s in America. The novel is about a young girl named Lily, who spends her summers at Rockaway Beach during WWII. Lily had difficulties understanding the whole idea of wars and growing up without a mother since her mom died when she was born. Her Father was shipped off to war during summer break. Lily's best friend moves away with her Father and mother to make bombs for the American ...more
Megan Nelson
Apr 28, 2016 Megan Nelson rated it really liked it
The summer of 1944 was supposed to be like any other. Lily and her father were going to her grandmother's home in Rockaway, near the Atlantic Ocean; however, the war was beginning to change everything. Lily's best friend, Margaret, and her family moved to Detroit, and Lily's father had just been drafted into the war. Lily felt alone until a young boy named Albert, a Hungarian refugee, came. Lily and Albert did not become friends at first, but eventually, they developed a true friendship because ...more
Mackenzie Ford
Apr 14, 2016 Mackenzie Ford rated it it was amazing
Title:Lily’s Crossing
Author: Patricia Reilly Giff
Illustrator: N/A
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theme(s): Fiction, World War (1939-1945), Refugees, Beaches, Friendship, Separation
Opening Line/Sentence: Lily Mollahan’s bedroom was at the top if the stairs, the only one on the second floor.

Brief Book Summary:
This book was about a young girl dealing with the separation of a best friend and her father due to the war during her summer. Lily’s father was sent to Europe to help defeat the Nazis, which sh
Michelle Warner
Dec 04, 2015 Michelle Warner rated it really liked it
Title: Lily’s Crossing
Author: Patricia Reilly Giff
Illustrator: (if different than author)
Genre: Historic (realistic) Fiction
Theme(s): Friendship, family, war, love, history
Opening line/sentence: “Lily Mollahan’s bedroom was at the top of the stairs, the only one on the second floor.”
Brief Book Summary: This book takes place during World War Two, when the main character, Lily’s, father is deployed. During this time, Lily befriends a refugee, Albert, who wants to go back to Europe. Throughout t
Wayne S.
Aug 10, 2015 Wayne S. rated it really liked it
It is the summer of 1944, and Lily Mollahan, who is finishing fifth grade, lives in St. Albans, a middle class community in the New York City borough of Queens, with her Poppy, an engineer, and her Gram. Her mother is dead. The three make the usual plans to spend their vacation at Gram’s summer home in Rockaway where her best friend Margaret Dillon and her family also have a summer home. However, with the war going on, her father is drafted into the military, and the Dillons move to Willow Run, ...more
Mattie Weck
Personal reaction – I’ve always been interested in WWII, but have typically read books with Germany as the setting. I like how this book displays the time period in an American setting. The author does an excellent job of describing the character’s emotions in such a detailed way that allows readers to connect with the text.

Purpose(s)/Use in the classroom-

• Read aloud to make a curricular connection: This book would be a good choice as a classroom read aloud when learning about this time period
Taryn Vogel
May 09, 2015 Taryn Vogel rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed this book. And I think it would be a great story for all young readers to read. It really gave you an inside look at a tragic world wide event. This book would be able to reach a lot of students since it comes from a young girls point of view. A lot of students will be able to relate to some of her struggles, and the friendship she makes throughout the story.

Purpose: I think this story could be paired with a lesson on character development and emotions. Nothin
Natalie Brockmeier
This book was an entertaining read that I sped through quickly. But what I liked about it so much was the powerful message that the reader takes away. This story is filled with questions that children (and adults) face everyday, and I loved the themes the author presented.
To read this story aloud, obviously it's historical fiction so I would discuss how life changed back in the US during WWII, even though it wasn't on our soil. There are tons of things that could spiral off of this book, such a
Hyeonjeong Lee
Apr 09, 2015 Hyeonjeong Lee rated it really liked it
- Personal reaction
I did not enjoy this book very much because of its historical background. I took World History class during elementary and middle schools. I really enjoyed the classes because learning histories of other countries was very interesting. However, while reading this book, I felt sad. I enjoy academically learning histories, but knowing what people had to be faced and how hard their lives is really hard for me. It reminds me of Korean War. I don't have a family member attending th
Kim Paral
Mar 01, 2015 Kim Paral rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rll-539
After reading through Lily's crossing, I decided this would be a great read aloud book for a 5th grade classroom. The reason I say this is because it brings up different aspects that 5th graders might be facing and could relate to, which would generate a great discussion. The ideas of lying and the importance of friendship are embedded in this text and I think it would be extremely beneficial to discuss these ideas as a class so that the conversation could be facilitated appropriately and differ ...more
Cassandra Miller
Feb 20, 2014 Cassandra Miller rated it really liked it
Lily's Crossing is a historical fiction book by Patricia Reilly Giff. Lily's Crossing won the 1998 Newberry Honor Medal. The book is set in 1944 and it is about a young girl named Lily who spends her summers at Rockaway Beach during WWII. Lily struggles with understanding the war and growing up without her mother. She also struggles with lying, every time she vows not to lie, another lie slips out of her mouth. Eventually, her lies put the life of one of her friends in jeopardy. Albert is a Hung ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Freya rated it it was amazing
This book is a great book taking place in the 1940's. Its about a young girl named Lily her mother had died when she was born but she still loves her step mother Gram. They live in America in the 1940's Her Father is shipped off to war during summer break And her best Friend moves away with her Father and mother to Make bombs for the American Troops. She thinks she will be left alone all summer with nothing to do but than One day A mysterious boy named Albert comes from Hungry. He was forced out ...more
WWII summer by the beach for Lily who meets a refuge boy and becomes fast friends.
Courtney Raymer
Apr 13, 2015 Courtney Raymer rated it really liked it
Personal Response: I am not a huge fan of historical fiction books, but I was greatly surprised I actually enjoyed reading this book. It wasn't completely focused on the history of WW2 but it had a story line to go along with it that made it much more interesting. I liked how I was able to read the emotions of a child going through WW2 and the life they are experiencing rather than an adult because I feel like that is how a lot of those books are written. I liked the idea of the story as well br ...more
Mrs. Tongate
Apr 14, 2014 Mrs. Tongate rated it really liked it
Sweet story of friendship and love that historical fiction and WWII fans will enjoy. Great characters and a great read-aloud for middle school. A read where students can discover how the war affected people on the home front.

Lily expected to have an awesome summer at her family's beach house in Rockaway by the Atlantic Ocean. It's 1944 and WWII has changed all lives. Lily's best friend has moved to Detroit and now Lily's Dad is sent overseas to join the war. Lily meets Albert, a refugee from Hun
Jennifer Richter
Apr 23, 2014 Jennifer Richter rated it it was amazing
There's so much I love about Lily's Crossing. First, the novel has a real sense of "place." The author constructed such a complete picture of Rockaway Beach that I easily got a sense of the sights, sounds, smells and culture of Lily's summer world and was able to immerse myself in it right away. Then there's the historical setting, the winding down of World War II, including the events of D-day. You see how she and the community are affected by the war from afar -- the hope, the heartbreak, the ...more
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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan ...more
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“I told her that saying goodbye didn't matter, not a bit. What mattered were all the days you were together before that, all the things you remembered.” 20 likes
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