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The Lily Pond (Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Books) Hardcover – October 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Series: Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Books
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385740395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385740395
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Booklist, December 1, 2011:
"A compelling look at World War II–era Sweden, this distinguished Holocaust story will resonate."

Horn Book, January/February 2012:
"Stephie’s story of adjustment to a new school and of a first crush is both specific and universal"

About the Author

ANNIKA THOR's bestselling quartet featuring the Steiner sisters has been translated into numerous languages and was adapted into a hugely popular television series in Sweden.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By emkachan on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Stephie Steiner, a 13-year-old Austrian Jew, moves to Goteborg on the Swedish mainland in Annika Thor's amazing sequel to the Faraway Island. Stephie came to Sweden with a group of child refugees from Vienna and was sent to foster parents on the tip of a remote island. The first book describes Stephie's challenges on the island. In The Lily Pond, Stephie boards with a family in Goteborg and attends grammar school (high school) on a scholarship. Her parents are hundreds of miles away, working long hours in a factory and the Jewish hospital, moving from a room in their grand old apartment to a small room in the Jewish ghetto, trying to get entrance visas to America, but The Lily Pond spends more time on Stephie, her friends, her unrequited love for Sven, and her schoolwork. Stephie's foster family on the island has become her new home, and her several weekends there are too short, but the freedom of the city puts her in a pickle when she attends the cinema and runs into her strict Pentecostal foster mother's gossipy neighbor on the way out. Stephie continues her schooling and finds a friend who also doesn't quite fit in, but, at the end of The Lily Pond, the war has barely started for the Swedes. Much more will come in the next two books of this spectacular, well-written, and truthful quartet.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Lily Pond" is the second in a quartet of books by Swedish author Annika Thor, and translated by Linda Schenck. The setting is the early days of World War II when the persecution of Jews by the Nazi government in Germany was escalating and affecting Jews elsewhere in Europe. In the first book, "A Faraway Island", readers are introduced to 12-year-old Stephie Steiner and her 7-year-old sister Nellie who find themselves being part of a group of 500 Jewish children who have been granted asylum in Sweden. The sisters leave behind their beloved parents who are forced to stay behind in Vienna, Austria as they try to obtain visas that will enable the entire family to emigrate to the United States.

In "The Lily Pond", the story continues, focusing primarily on Stephie's experiences. Stephie's parents are still working hard to obtain visas that will enable them to emigrate to the United States, but times are difficult, and the process is lengthy and fraught with complications. The rapidly deteriorating situation for the Jews of Austria is conveyed to Stephie via the letters her parents send to her.

Meanwhile, back in Sweden, Stephie, who is now 13, has completed elementary schooling and arrangements have been made for her to continue on to grammar school in Goteborg, a large city on the mainland. Stephie finds herself looking forward to once again living in a big city (since she is originally from the highly cultured city Vienna), and anticipates renewing her acquaintance with Sven, the son of the lodgers who had leased her foster parents' cottage over the summer.

"The Lily Pond" is a well-written historical novel as it credibly explores the themes of alienation and adolescent pangs.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Monkey lover on January 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
BEST BOOK EVER! You have to read it!!!!!! It is amazing and I wanted to cry towards the end!!!! READ IT!!!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LivinginBeauty VINE VOICE on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The story is good, but I did not like the writing style (was it translated from Swedish?). Everything is written in the present tense in short sentences, i.e, "Stephie picks up her pen" , Stephie looks away" ("see Spot run"), as if the book were written for first graders (although the reading level is designated 9+). By the time I got to page 190, the reading became somewhat annoying and tedious. *SPOILER* At that point (pg. 190), Stephie has been blamed for cheating on a test, and doesn't tell the teacher who really cheated. Realistically, NO CHILD would ever be silent under those circumstances because children like to tattle ... (remember, when you were a kid? ""Ewwww! I'm gonna tell" ... or "who spilled that milk, "he did, no you did"" ... ). I could be wrong, but don't children have a natural instinct to protect themselves, and fight back ? Her reaction to the cheating was totally unrealistic (not admitting that it was another girl who was cheating). Or is it possible that this girl was so depressed about her situation, she couldn't react?
Anyway, .. no more spoilers! This is a heart-breaking book, but still worth reading.
The story has good "book discussion" material. Especially her circumstances, the living situation and her emotional turmoil.
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