Writer: Patricia Reilly Giff
Publisher: Yearling (1997)
Pages: 180 p
Bought at: Second Story Books, Washington DC (USD 4)
It was the summer 0f 1944 and World War II was still going strong. As in previous years, Lily spent her summer in her family’s summer house in Rockaway by the Atlantic Ocean. But unfortunately, it was the only thing that would stay the same, because war has changed everything Lily knew.
Lily’s summer best friend, Margaret, had to leave the town with her family because her father got a job in Detroit. This was terrible since there’s no other kids in Lily’s age around the town to keep her company. To make it worse, Lily’s father, a distinguished engineer, suddenly had to go overseas to help on the war.
This was a very lonely summer for Lily, until a strange kid named Albert came to the town. Albert was a refugee from Hungary who lost his family during the war. At first, Lily avoided him because he looked weird. But then she realized they had more things in common than she expected. They both had secrets, lied to each other. But as the summer gone by, they learned many lessons about friendship and being true to themselves.
I grabbed this book from a second hand bookshop in Washington, DC. And the only reason I bought it because it is a Newbery book. Luckily, my hunch did not defeat me. This is a really nice story, with a bit of nostalgic vibe inside. I especially love the summer feeling in a small seaside town. I can imagine well Lily teaching Albert how to swim, the blue water and warm weather, and old summer houses with porch facing the ocean. I thought I can really reach the ocean while reading this book. That’s how lively this book is to me.