The Definitive Guide to

The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

Written by Kathy Stinson & illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Published by Kids Can Press
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6.17 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
$17.99
List Price
Unknown
Target Age
32
Pages
Picture
Book Type
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What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“The power of books pervades this meaningful story based on true events.”

Anneliese doesn’t understand why the women try to clean the streets of rubble when the town will never be the same. With the nagging pain of hunger and the lingering heartache from losing her father in the war, Anneliese and her brother stumble upon a book exhibition, where “the lady with the books” introduces and engulfs the children in fun, relatable, hopeful, and resonating stories like Ferdinand the Bull, The Story of Babar, and Pippi Longstocking. One night, after eating a delicious stew due to the generosity of the farmer (and her mother’s selflessness trading an heirloom teapot and skill in catching a pigeon) and retiring to bed, Anneliese awakes and slips outside into the moonlight. She resolves to hope for a better future and join the women with their brooms the next day, but for now will sleep and dream, “like Ferdinand in his field of flowers.” This touching and powerful work of historical fiction is based on the true story of “the lady with the books,” Jella Lepman, who is introduced further in the inspiring back matter at the end of the book. This powerful story doesn’t shy away from or dwell on realities of war, leaving a predominant feeling of hope. Lafrance creatively integrates characters from the exhibition books peeking around the illustrations, adding additional hope to a city torn by war and further showcasing one of the powerful themes of the book, and Jella Lepman’s driving goal, of using books as “bridges of understanding.”

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

Inspired by true events, a fictionalized retelling of how one woman brought a world of books to children in Germany after World War II, and changed their lives forever.

Anneliese and Peter will never be the same after the war that took their father’s life. One day, while wandering the ruined streets of Munich, the children follow a line of people entering a building, thinking there may be free food inside. Instead, they are delighted to discover a great hall filled with children’s books —- more books than Anneliese can count. Here, they meet the lady with the books, who encourages the children to read as much as they want. And she invites them to come back the next day. Eventually, she will have a greater impact on the children’s lives than they could ever have imagined.

This moving picture book, written by beloved and award-winning author Kathy Stinson, is based on the real-life work of Jella Lepman, founder of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and the International Youth Library. Lepman’s collection of children’s books from around the world traveled throughout Germany after World War II in the hope of building ?bridges of understanding? between countries. Brought to life by highly acclaimed illustrator Marie Lafrance, this book carries an important message about international cooperation that still resonates with world events today. It includes further information about Lepman and her work as well as historical photos. This story of the children who survived the war offers a unique and often unexplored perspective for history lessons. It also makes an excellent choice for character education lessons on resilience. A portion of the author’s royalties will be donated to IBBY’s Children in Crisis Fund.

What Kind of Book is The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

What Should I Know As a Parent

Families are unique and have different expectations for the books they choose to read. The following is a list of concepts included in this book that some parents may wish to seek out or avoid.

Violence: The context of this book is about life after WWII, and the story mentions how the children's father was "shot for standing up to men whose orders he didn’t want to follow."

Note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be concepts in this book that are not included or have been insufficiently or incorrectly detailed here.

Quotes from This Book

  • “On the way home, Anneliese thought about Pippi, who had lost both her parents and yet did just fine for herself.”
  • “But for now, she would go back to bed and sleep, like Ferdinand in his field of flowers, and she would dream.”

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
1234567
6.0 / 7.0
B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
1234567
5.75 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
1234567
6.75 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

Book Topics › historical fiction
Children's Books About Historical Fiction
Book Topics › girls and women
Children's Books About Girls And Women
Book Topics › books and libraries
Children's Books About Children's Books And Libraries
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Who Wrote The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

Who Illustrated The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

What Has Kathy Stinson Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Kathy know that you want more details about The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman!

What Has Marie Lafrance Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Marie know that you want more details about The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman!

Kathy Stinson's Book Dedication

To the late Jella Lepman, whose work has enriched the lives of children around the world for generations

Marie Lafrance's Book Dedication

To my father, who gave me the best gift of my first books and went on to feed me classics and historical novels, whether I wanted them or not

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Book Details

ISBN:
9781525301544
Publication Date:
October 6, 2020
Text Details:
The text is set in Bauer bodoni.
Illustration Details:
The artwork in this book was rendered in graphite pencil and colored digitally in Photoshop.
ASIN/ISBN 10:
1525301543
Lexile:
620L

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