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Lilli's Quest
     

Lilli's Quest

by Lila Perl
 

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Germany on the cusp of World War II. Hitler has risen to power, and the Jews are being taken away from their homes in the middle of the night, forced to wear yellow stars, their businesses smashed, their lives in ruins. In the middle of all this is Lilli Frankfurter, a half-Jewish girl on the cusp of adolescence, her life and family thrust into the midst of a

Overview

Germany on the cusp of World War II. Hitler has risen to power, and the Jews are being taken away from their homes in the middle of the night, forced to wear yellow stars, their businesses smashed, their lives in ruins. In the middle of all this is Lilli Frankfurter, a half-Jewish girl on the cusp of adolescence, her life and family thrust into the midst of a danger she has only begun to understand.

In the stunning sequel to Isabel's War, Lila Perl, who completed this book just months before her death, brings wartime Germany, England, and America to life through Lilli's eyes. From Kristallnacht to hiding in her grandparents' attic to the Kindertransports that take her to an isolated farm in the English countryside, separated from her family, Lilli must repeatedly hide her identity in order to stay alive. In her final novel, Perl brilliantly evokes Lilli's desperate journey to America—as well as her brave quest back to Europe to find out if anything is left of her family.

Lila Perl published over sixty volumes of fiction and nonfiction for young readers during her long and distinguished career. In addition to the beloved Fat Glenda series, Perl twice received American Library Association Notable awards for nonfiction and was a recipient of the Sidney Taylor Award for Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story. Her penultimate novel, Isabel's War, was named a 2015 Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category, and was well reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Kirkus, among other places. She died in 2013 at the age of ninety-two.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/31/2015
In Perl’s final book, a companion to Isabel’s War (2014), the author tells the harrowing saga of Lilli, a Jewish refugee racked with guilt over leaving her family behind in Germany during Hitler’s reign. Assuming the identity of her younger sister, Helga, who is unable to leave Germany via the Kindertransport due to an injury, Lilli is taken to England, where she works hard in a no-frills farmhouse to earn her keep. Eventually, she travels to America to stay with her aunt and uncle; although life is easier in New York City (where she meets Isabel from the previous book), Lilli still faces obstacles, prejudices, and loneliness, while wondering about the fates of her loved ones. After the fighting stops, Lilli realizes that she may be the lone survivor of her immediate family and determines to find out the truth. Lilli emerges as a stoic, courageous heroine, who slowly learns to rely on strangers for support. Perl recounts her traumas in unsentimental terms, yet readers will feel close to Lilli’s sorrow as she forges ahead on an unfamiliar path. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
2015-08-31
A companion to Isabel's War (2014) fills in and expands the story of the girl known as Helga, explaining why Lilli, and not her younger sister, the real Helga, was on the Kindertransport to England. Lilli's time on a rough English farm with cold guardians is entirely different from life with her own family in Germany as the war began. Events on the farm become so difficult that she is moved to a school where "land girls" are trained to work as farmers. There, things improve: there are friends, enough food, sanitation, social occasions. She meets a German prisoner of war, Karl, a sensitive, sympathetic, and intelligent young man working on an English farm. She is abruptly pulled from this life in 1941 to join relatives in the United States. There Lilli's story switches from a third-person, present-tense account to her own first-person, past-tense narration (though both are formal and old-fashioned). She fills in events mentioned in the previous book, makes more male friends, and continues to search for the real Helga. Perl recaps the events of the war as she goes, which is probably needed since the book covers a long span, 1938-1946, but it is also a liability. The reading is slowed by the flatness of the characters, who are in the story but don't walk off the pages. A not-particularly-dynamic addition to the Holocaust shelves. (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781939601537
Publisher:
Ig Publishing
Publication date:
12/01/2015
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,390,682
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
13 - 14 Years

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Meet the Author


Lila Perl published over sixty volumes of fiction and nonfiction. In addition to the successful Fat Glenda series, Perl twice received American Library Association Notable awards for nonfiction and was the recipient of the Sidney Taylor Award for Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story. Her penultimate book, Isabel's War, was named a 2015 Honor Book in the Teen Reader’s Category by the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.

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