Books & More from the Teen Scene

Book reviews and other reflections from one of Oregon's young adult librarians

“Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy” by Gary D. Schmidt October 2, 2011

Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. New York: Clarion Books, 2004. 217 pp. ISBN: 0616439293

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy cover

Image courtesy of GoodReads.com

Annotation:

Thirteen-year-old Turner Buckminster has found exactly one friend since moving to Phippsburg, Maine – Lizzie Bright Griffin, who lives in an impoverished community of former slaves on nearby Malaga Island. When the town elders decide they want the island to build a resort hotel for tourists, Turner and Lizzie are pushed to desperate action.

Review:

Illuminating a true and shameful episode in Maine history, Gary D. Schmidt has created a striking story about a boy who instinctively rebels against the strict rules that come with being a minister’s son, and his new town’s disdain for the small black community nearby. Turner Buckminster has made a friend in Lizzie Bright, a girl with a sharp tongue and some mad baseball skills who introduces him to her world and people on Malaga Island. He plunges into a naïve, but well-meaning struggle to save Lizzie Bright and her kinfolk from the town elders, and the town elders from themselves.

Told with a bit of humor and a strong feel for the groupthink and nosy nature of small-town life, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is fast-paced story about a boy who experiences the worst in others, yet learns what is the most beautiful and important in this world.

Awards/Honors (source: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/162024/lizzie-bright-and-the-buckminster-boy-by-gary-d-schmidt#awards):

  • 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
  • Michael L. Printz Honor Book
  • Newbery Honor Book
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • ALA Notable Children’s Book
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • Kirkus Reviews Editor Choice Award
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