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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
by Gary D. Schmidt.

I Y this book x 5!
Anyone who has read the Blogger Book Club, knows that we have a special place in our hearts for author, Gary D. Schmidt. When we were discussing his book, Straw into Gold, he took the time to join the online discussion and chat with us for over an hour! During the discussion, he mentioned his latest book, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.
It sounded great, and when we learned that it had been named as a Newbery Honor book, we were even more eager to read it.

The story is based on a true incident that happened in Maine in the early 1900's.
Turner Buckminster's father has been hired by the town fathers as the new minister. The town has been losing money and so the elders also expect the minister to help them in their goal of ridding Malaga, a nearby island, of its inhabitants so they can set up the island as a tourism site. Lizzie Bright Griffin and her grandfather are part of that island community, decendants of the slaves that originally settled there.
Much to the disapproval of the townspeople and his parents, Turner strikes up a friendship with Lizzie. The story highlights this unique friendship while touching on racism, human connections and loss.
Mr. Schmidt has written a beautifully sensitive story, full of characters that are so real that you care about what happens to them. The story and the subject matter is not for young children.
At Roselle Library, the book is in the YA (Young Adult) collection. I think a mature sixth grader or teen would love it as much as I did.
Roselle Public Library call number:

I just want to say that I loved this book and I'm sorry that it didn't get the Newbery Medal, instead of just honor book. I found the relationships that Turner has with Lizzie, his father, and old Mrs. Cobb quite touching and real. The historical reality underlying this book made the end especially sad.
Thank you for your comment! I think the book should have won the Newbery Medal, too!
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