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Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching The Children of Willesden Lane
Resources to help you teach the book in middle schools and high schools

Chapters 4–8


Lisa and the other children travel by train through Austria, across Germany, and then to the Hook of Holland, a Dutch port on the North Sea. There they board a boat that takes them across the English Channel to Britain and get on yet another train, this one to London.

The children’s arrival in London brings new challenges. Lisa discovers that the cousin she hoped to stay with is unable to care for her. Workers at the Jewish Refugee Agency at Bloomsbury House and the Red Cross find her temporary housing until they can make a more permanent arrangement. Eventually Lisa is assigned to Peacock Manor near Brighton-by-the-Sea, where she works as a live-in housemaid and later as a personal maid to the lady of the manor. The work is not hard, but Lisa has promises to keep—to remember her music and to reunify her family. But neither can be accomplished so far from London, so Lisa uses money saved from her wages to buy a bicycle. She then leaves the manor and rides 45 miles to the nearest railroad station, where she buys a ticket to London. She goes directly to Bloomsbury House and begs the authorities to let her stay. They reluctantly agree, and Lisa is assigned to 243 Willesden Lane, a hostel crammed with young refugees and led by the devoted Mrs. Cohen.

Synopsis text from the curriculum guide, created by Facing History and Ourselves and the Milken Family Foundation, pg. 26.

A group of Jewish children arriving from Germany

A group of Jewish children arriving
from Germany.


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