Patricia Reilly Giff
by Aimen Shahzad
Although I'm nearing eighteen and have read more books than I can remember, there is one I shall always cherish. 'Lily's Crossing' by Patricia Reilly Giff is one children's book that has a special place in my bookshelf. It is special because it is as relatable now as it was back then when I was twelve.
I haven't read a single page of 'Lily's Crossing' without exclaiming,
"Oh my God! That happens to me too!"
I have cried with the characters and I have laughed with them. I have felt their pain and I have joined in their excitement. The author weaves the story in such a way that the characters walk off the page and make you feel you're part of the story too.
Every major and minor incident of the book reminds me of happenings in my life. I understand Lily's grief and resentment when her father leaves for the Second World War because I see my father leave the city for work every Sunday.
I relate to Lily's sorrow when her best friend moves to a wartime factory town because I remember when my best bud, Farah, moved to college. There is something in this book that holds you still for a moment and makes you think over what is similar in the book and in your life but how differently you act as compared to the characters.
I've had this book-marked over everywhere, pages folded, so I can get to my favourite parts quickly. I don't read the whole book every time. I just go over those best pages. And whenever I do that, I can't help feeling giddy. The emotions are so raw that they cut through every time in a way different to that before.
I can't explain in words what I feel in reality. You will just have to read the book yourself to find out. 'Lily's Crossing' is a book for children and adults alike. I loved it when I was twelve because the eccentric Lily grew on me and I love it now when I'm almost eighteen because I now fully understand what Patricia Reilly Giff was trying to portray between little, child-like dialogues.
I suggest 'Lily's Crossing' to children who say they're not 'understood' by the world around them, to children who believe they can conquer the impossible, to adults who have given up hope, to families that are on the verge of separation and to every single being who worries about loss.
Lily shall teach you, as she teaches me very often, that love and friendship make a difference.