Lily's Crossing


Patricia Reilly Giff

Number of Pages: 


Minimum grade level: 


Discussion Questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. How does Lily feel about her father serving in the war? What would it be like if one of your parents had to go away to serve in the military? Do you know anyone whose parents have done that?
  2. Do you have a special place that your family goes to like a cabin or campground? What does it feel like to return somewhere special?
  3. Describe Lily. What kind of person is she? What are her strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Describe Lily and Margaret's friendship. How is Lily's friendship with Albert different? Why does Lily say that he is the best friend she ever had?
  5. Throughout the book, Lily makes a list of her problems and solutions to the problems. One of her worst problems is lying. She also has a vivid imagination. Discuss the difference between lying and imagining. Why does Lily continue to lie when she knows she's being dishonest? In what other ways is Lily dishonest? At what point in the novel does she finally overcome her habit of lying?
  6. Both Lily and Albert have lost parents, but they still have the love of a family. Ask students to describe Lily's family. What is her relationship with Poppy? What is Gram's role in the family? How does Lily's relationship with Gram change at the end of the novel? How does Albert gain a sense of family from Mr. and Mrs. Orban?
  7. Lily feels guilty because she didn't tell her father good-bye. Albert feels guilty because he didn't tell Ruth good-bye. How does each of them deal with the guilt?
  8. At the end of the novel, Albert and Ruth are reunited, and Lily gets to meet Ruth. What do you think Albert has told Ruth about Lily?
  9. What do you predict for Lily's future?

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