Someday We Will Fly

By: Rachel DeWoskin

1940: Lilia is fifteen when her mother, Alenka, disappears, and she, her father, and sister flee Warsaw for Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. They struggle to make a life—and wonder if Alenka will find them, if she’s still alive.
Author’s note. Sources.

ISBN: 9780670014965

JLG Release: Apr 2019


Sensitive Areas: Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape, Violence: Suicide , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Violence: Mild Violence
Topics: Jews , China , Shanghai , Emigration and immigration , Circus performers , Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) , Twentieth-century history of Shanghai, China

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Awards & Honors

Tablet Best Jewish Children’s Books - 2019
Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist*

Horn Book

In 1940, Lillia’s Jewish family plans to escape the Nazi threat in Warsaw for Shanghai. Her parents are acrobats, and when their circus is raided, Lillia and her father and sister are separated from the girls’ mother and must make the journey without knowing her fate. Once there, the family lives among other refugees in Japanese-occupied Shangh In 1940, Lillia’s Jewish family plans to escape the Nazi threat in Warsaw for Shanghai. Her parents are acrobats, and when their circus is raided, Lillia and her father and sister are separated from the girls’ mother and must make the journey without knowing her fate. Once there, the family lives among other refugees in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, and Lillia attends an international Jewish school. She begins to interact with local people via her friendship with Wei, a boy who works at the school, and later his sister Aili. Lillia (fifteen when the story begins) starts out somewhat naive, and DeWoskin sensitively shows her maturing as she comes to realize the privilege she has over Shanghai-born Wei and Aili, even as a refugee, and the repercussions her actions can have for them. Her growth also involves accepting the role of sole breadwinner when her father and sister fall ill; left without many options, she takes a job dancing and socializing at a club for wealthy Japanese men. Though a climactic revelation seems perhaps too good to be true, the novel is honest about the impossibility of a completely happy ending. Prose thick with description details 1940s Shanghai through the eyes of a first-person narrator trying to make sense of a setting completely new to her. A personal and informative author’s note and an extensive list of sources make it evident that this novel highlighting a WWII story rarely told in YA is a wellresearched one.

Book Details

ISBN

9780670014965

First Release

April 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

368

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 800L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Viking

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape, Violence: Suicide , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Violence: Mild Violence

Topics

Jews, China, Shanghai, Emigration and immigration, Circus performers, Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), Twentieth-century history of Shanghai, China,

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