The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Children of Willesden Lane
Lisa Jura lives with her family in Vienna and dreams of being a concert pianist. But everything is changing: it's no longer safe for her to walk down the street, her piano teacher has turned her away, and now her parents are sending her on a terrifying journey to another country. Alone.
This is the true story of how Lisa escaped Nazi-controlled Austria just before the outbreak of World War Two on the Kindertransport. Taken to England and housed in a home for refugee children on London's Willesden Lane, she must make new friends and a new family and find a way to endure the years of war.
Just 14 years old when she arrives, not only is she desperate to get news of her parents and siblings left behind on the mainland, but she must also navigate a working life in London as a German refugee.
An eye-opening insight into the Kindertransport and life in wartime London as a young person, The Children of Willesden Lane is told by Lisa's daughter Mona. Pure and selfless kindnesses of the people around Lisa balance other horrors as the war bites down, while her musical talent shines through and brings hope for the future.