2015 Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
“This coming-of-age story offers an authentic glimpse of the 1940s American war effort and corresponding sentiments while introducing a realistically flawed heroine whose well-meaning efforts sometimes backfire.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fresh and atmospheric, this captivating work of historical fiction will connect young readers to the plight of children who escaped Nazi Germany with the Kindertransport—and of those who did not.”—Wall Street Journal
In a stunning new novel completed just before her death in 2013, award-winning author Lila Perl introduces us to Isabel Brandt, a French-phrase-dropping twelve-year-old New Yorker who’s more interested in boys and bobbing her nose than the distant war across the Pacific—the one her parents keep reminding her to care more about. Things change when Helga, the beautiful niece of her parent’s best friends, comes to live with Isabel and her family. Helga is everything Isabel’s not—cool, blonde, and vaguely aloof. She’s also a German war refugee, with a past that gives a growing Isabel something more important to think about than boys and her own looks. Set in the Bronx during World War II, Isabel’s War is a beautiful evocation of New York in the 1940s and of a girl’s growing awareness of the world around her.
The daughter of Russian immigrants fleeing anti-Semitism, Lila Perl grew up in Depression-era Brooklyn. It wasn’t until she had grade-school children of her own that Perl began writing young adult novels. Perl published over sixty volumes of fiction and nonfiction for young readers. In addition to the successful Fat Glenda series, Perl twice received American Library Association Notable awards for nonfiction and is the recipient of the Sidney Taylor Award for Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story. She died in 2013 at the age of 92. Isabel’s War and its completed sequel, Lilli’s Quest, where her final two books.