Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Print.

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2005 Newbery Honor Book
2005 The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Honor Book

Annotation: A fictional account of a true event; Schmidt creates a coming-of-age story filled with friendship, heart break, and hope.

Review: In 1912, Turner Buckminster is the son of minister who has recently moved to a small coastal town in Maine. Although he got along well enough in his native Boston, Phippsburg may well have been Mars for how much he stands apart from his community, and Turner longs to “light out for the Territories”.

It is not until he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin that Turner begins to enjoy his new home. There is one hitch: Lizzie Bright is an African-American girl, poor, and living on an island that the town leaders want for themselves. When the people of Phippsburg fear that its local economy will no longer sustain them, they force the African-American community off Malaga Island, wanting to build a resort atop their homes and graves. When Turner tries to stand up to the racism and injustice, he suffers the loss of both Lizzie and his father.

Schmidt’s writing is flawless, and the story is supported by a host of vivid secondary characters and grand descriptions of Maine, a hundred years ago. This is a story not to be missed, regardless of reader age.

ISBN:  0618439293 

Subject Headings: Young adult literature, race relations -- Juvenile fiction, Maine -- History -- 20th century -- Juvenile fiction

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