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Lily's Victory Garden (Tales of Young Americans Series)

Lily's Victory Garden (Tales of Young Americans Series)

by Helen L. Wilbur

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Features the story of Lily and her quest to find a small plot of land to grow a "Victory Garden". For grades 2-5.


Features the story of Lily and her quest to find a small plot of land to grow a "Victory Garden". For grades 2-5.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Summer Whiting
In the midst of World War II, Lily relies on her precious plants and flowers to bring her a small piece of joy. She learns to be content with the flower box that occupies the third floor window of her family's apartment. She is ecstatic when she learns of an upcoming lottery for land to grow Victory Gardens. Sadly, she discovers that she is far too young to take part, but Lily is not flustered. She is already thinking of a place with a big yard and plenty of space for her very own garden: The Bishop's home. The Bishops, who are going through their own private struggle of losing their son in the war, initially reject her request to use some of their land, but Mrs. Bishop relents. Lily plants her seeds, and soon the garden is full of beets, beans, peas, and watermelon. Surprises pop up here and there, like a lovely straw hat that greets Lily early one morning or the little bench that rests near the garden. An unlikely friendship begins to form between two unsuspecting souls, and along with it comes a little healing. This story was inspired by Wilbur's own experiences in the garden. Steele's illustrations are subtle yet powerful. This book would be an excellent tool to use while teaching the upper elementary grades the art of writing a memoir. It is poignant; the language creates several vivid and personal images that will bring the story to life. It will also make a great read aloud for several social studies and science units. Students will enjoy this excellent cross-curricular tool. Reviewer: Summer Whiting
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—During World War II, Lily collects tin cans with her brother to help with the war effort. Their last stop is always at the house of the Bishops, whose son was the first soldier from their town to die in battle. Lily takes note of the beautiful flowers in the untended yard and longs for a garden of her own. It seems that her dream might come true when she hears that the town park will be turned into Victory Garden plots, to be given to winners of a lottery. Lily applies but is told that she doesn't qualify, so she obtains Mr. Bishop's reluctant permission to create her own garden in his yard, on the condition that she doesn't bother his wife. Lily spends several days planting seeds, hoeing, and watering, and soon Mrs. Bishop begins to help. Everything goes well until the woman slips in the mud and her husband becomes angry. Lily races home in disgrace, but later Mr. Bishop comes by to apologize. He hadn't realized how happy his once-grieving wife had been when she was working in the garden. The lovely, realistic watercolor paintings capture the text well, and back matter explains other aspects of the American home front. This story, told from Lily's point of view, is beautifully rendered, emphasizing how tragedy can be surmounted.—Donna Atmur, Los Angeles Public Library

Product Details

Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date:
Tales of Young Americans Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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