Lily’s Promise

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. May 2021. 288p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780063058156.
Gr 3-7–After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling, Lily must start public school as a sixth grader after the death of her beloved father. Lily is grieving and overwhelmed by the noise, pace, and bullies of public school. But she quickly finds a friend in the exuberant Hobart, and in time they expand their friendship circle to include other classmates, such as such as Dunya, a recent immigrant. Lily and her friends learn compassion and confidence through their growing bond. This book introduces many mature themes in child-appropriate ways. Erskine explores significant topics, such as the treatment of immigrants in the United Sates, as well as lighter ones, such as how litter is harmful for dogs. These tidbits generally fit with the characters’ voice and development as well as the story line, but sometimes feel a bit forced. Narrative chapters alternate with meta-observations by the book itself. The character of the book comments on the children and plot, referring to the author as “the Imaginer” and weighing in on literary themes. Lily is cued as white.
VERDICT The story structure may be confusing to less experienced readers, but curious kids who love books will enjoy joining this welcoming group of friends as they learn about the world we share.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing