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Cover for The Lady with the Books

The Lady with the Books

A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

Kathy Stinson, Marie Lafrance (Illustrator)


List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

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

A story for book-loving children and adults who believe in the power of literature.—Kirkus Reviews

... whimsical.—Quill & Quire, starred review

... a poignant and powerful picture book ...—Globe and Mail

... a notable reminder of the potent healing abilities of literature.—CM Magazine

The digitally colored graphite illustrations are equally adept at conveying the deprivation of post-war Germany and the power of stories to unlock hope.—The Horn Book

In today's global political climate, the spirit of Jella Lepman seems a supremely important one to foster and this beautifully told story is a wonderful way to start.—Association of Jewish Libraries

Kids Can Press, 9781525301544, 32pp.

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

About the Author

Kathy Stinson is the author of more than thirty children's books, including the beloved classic Red Is Best and The Man with the Violin, winner of the prestigious TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. She lives in Rockwood, Ontario.