Lily's Victory Garden
by Helen L. Wilbur
When Lily learns about a lottery for land plots to grow Victory Gardens, she tries to apply. But when the garden club president tells her she's too young to participate, Lily refuses to give up. She knows where there's a house with a big yard. The Bishops live in the largest house in town. It also has the largest yard. But the Bishops' son was the first soldier from the town to die in the war. Now Mrs. Bishop has hidden herself away in their house. When Lily asks Mr. Bishop for the use of a small plot within his yard, his grudging approval comes with the stern warning, "No bothering Mrs. Bishop." As Lily nurtures her garden, she discovers that the human heart is its own garden, with the same needs for attention and love. A former librarian, Helen L. Wilbur now works on the electronic side of the publishing world. Lily's Victory Garden was inspired by family stories of life on the home front during WWII. Helen also authored M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet. She lives in New York City. Robert Gantt Steele has illustrated many projects and books about the American experience. He is particularly interested in military and WWII history. Robert lives in northern California.
- Dewey: E
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585364503): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2010, 02/17/2010
- PDF (9781585365722): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2010, 08/06/2010
- Hosted ebook (9781627534321): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Series: Tales of Young Americans
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
- ATOS Reading Level: 5.4
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 136390
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- Storytelling World Resource Honor Award: Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners Category, Winner, 2011
- IRA Teacher's Choices Reading List--Primary Category, Short-listed, 2011
War and Peace: Book Reviews from the Children's Literature and Reading SIG
Reviewed on 27 January 2013
When Lily is considered too young to qualify for a Victory Garden during WWII, the determined girl takes things into her own hands and approaches a neighbor who has a piece of land that isn’t being used. He agrees but does so reluctantly and with the admonition not to disturb his wife who is in mourning over the loss of her son to the war efforts. With barely serviceable tools, Lily works hard to turn the soil and plant the seeds and later, to tend the plants as they come up. As she nurtures her garden, the reclusive Mrs. Bishop on whose land the plants are thriving starts paying attention to Lily and her careful tending of the garden. Eventually, the woman ends up helping Lily as she slowly starts to heal and learn to laugh and embrace life along with Lily and her dog Thunder. The story and brightly colored illustrations will tug at the heart while reminding readers of the universal need for caring and compassion.
Author: Helen L. Wilbur
A former librarian, Helen L. Wilbur spent many years in the world of publishing. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University.
Helen’s award-winning children’s books include Finnegan and Fox: The Ten-Foot Cop (2014 Bank Street Best Books of the Year for Children, 2013 Creative Child Seal of Excellence Award), Lily’s Victory Garden (2011 Storytelling World Resource Honor Award: Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners Category, 2011 IRA Teacher’s Choices Reading List – Primary Category), Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet (2009 Mom’s Choice Award) and M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet (a 2007 ASPCA Henry Bergh Honor Book).
She shares her writing experiences at conferences, schools, and libraries. Helen lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and spends her summers in the mountains of New Hampshire. Read more about her at helenwilbur.com.
Illustrator: Robert Gantt Steele
Robert Gantt Steele has illustrated many projects and books about the American experience. He is particularly interested in military and WWII history. Robert lives in northern California.