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

Illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Published by Kids Can Press

Something changes for Anneliese when she visits a book exhibit in her war-ravaged city in 1946 — and that's just the start of the impact of what Jella Lepman created.

Back matter describes the far-reaching impact of the work of Jella Lepman and the context in which she did it.

Age Level


Curriculum Connections

WWII, resilience, biography


For kids --

This book is based on the work of someone who believed that good books could build “bridges of understanding” between people. What books have you read that have helped you understand someone, real or fictional, a little better? What do you wish other people could understand about you?


The Lady with the Books is an inspiring picture book... a notable reminder of the potent healing abilities of literature.

CM Review

Poignant and powerful... shows young readers that reading can be life-changing

The Globe & Mail

Gently expose[s] young children to the impacts of war and the influence of books on individual lives

Q&Q Starred Review

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

Kirkus Reviews

A tome of hope that books have the promise to nurture during difficult times

CanLit for LittleCanadians

The Lady with the Books

Learn More

Read what Jella said that sums up why she did what she did.


A White Raven selection of the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (International Youth Library)

Outstanding International Books List, USBBY

Best Books of the Year, The Globe and Mail

Books of the Year list, A Mighty Girl

Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award, IBBY Canada (shortlist)

Other Editions

Also available in Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Turkish, and as an ebook.