Lily's Crossing: Plot
Updated: 12/16/2020
Lily's Crossing: Plot
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Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Teacher Guide by Lauren Ayube

Lily’s Crossing is a historical fiction novel set in 1944 in New York during World War II. The story is told from the perspective of a young girl named Lily, whose life and the lives of those around her are changed by the war. While Lily and her friend Albert form a new friendship and share their stories and fears, Lily tells many lies that could potentially put others in danger. Lily’s Crossing is a beautifully written story about the importance of honesty, family, and friendship.

Lily's Crossing

Storyboard Description

Plot diagram for Lily's Crossing

Storyboard Text

  • Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
  • EXPOSITION - War changes everything
  • RISING ACTION - Everyone leaves
  • Please tell Lily I love her and I promise I will return.
  • Lily's Crossing is a historical fiction novel set in the 1940s in New York during World War II. Readers get to know and love main character, 10 year old Lily, as she learns about friendship, family, honesty, and sacrifice in a time of turmoil.
  • CLIMAX - An unlikely friendship
  • Let's name her Paprika.
  • Don't worry, Lily, she's going to be okay.
  • Lily, her father, and her grandmother live in Queens, New York, and head to Rockaway Beach every summer for friends and fun. This summer is different: the U.S. is at war. As Lily loses one friend and gains another, misses her father, and feels guilty about her lies, she realizes that nothing will ever be the same.
  • FALLING ACTION - Albert swims too far
  • Albert!
  • Lily learns that her best friend Margaret is moving to Michigan, so her father can build bombers for the US military. Just when Lily thinks things couldn't get any worse, her father tells her that he is leaving to be an engineer for the army in Europe.
  • RESOLUTION - Rescued and reunited
  • As lonely as Lily is, she does not want to become friends with the strange new boy, Albert, who is a refugee from Hungary and is staying with his aunt and uncle. One day, both kids see a kitten being thrown in the water by a mean boy, and they work together to rescue her. A new friendship begins.
  • Lily lies and tells Albert that she is going to swim out to one of the war ships and ride to Europe to find her father. Although he cannot swim, Albert wants to do the same so he can find his sister Ruth, who was too ill to leave Hungary when he did.
  • Albert tries to swim out far enough to reach the ships, and almost drowns. Lily rescues him and feels terrible for what her lies have done. As time goes on, the war ends and Lily's father and Ruth return from Europe safely.
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