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Friday, September 30, 2011

Historical Fiction: "Lizzie Bright & the Buckminster Boy" by Gary Schmidt

Schmidt, G. D. (2004). Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Clarion Books: New York.
Awards: Newbery Honor and Michael L. Printz Award
Annotation:  The novel is based upon an existing community called Malaga and a town called Phippsburg in Maine. The situations portrayed in the novel between the towns people of Phippsburg not accepting the African Americans to include some Portuguese, Irish, Scottish, and Native Americans are also true.
Review: The novel is a story about a young boy named Turner who is the son of a minister who moves from the big city of Boston to the small coastal town of Phippsburg, Maine. This coming of age novel set in 1912 tells of the friendship that forms between a minister’s son and an African American girl named Lizzie who lives with her grandfather on the Island of Malaga. The town’s people disapprove of the friendship and pressure him to follow their ways and beliefs. The town’s elders pressure Turner’s father, as the minister, into helping oust the inhabitants of Malaga Island which they feel is in the best interest of the community. By forcing the inhabitants of Malaga Island to leave they feel it will attract tourists to their community and save their dying community. 
Turner and Lizzie learn that life changes and doesn’t stay the same, people that they know die and life continues on a different path. In the beginning of the novel Turner learns about change living in a new town and the way baseball is played all together different. Lizzie teaches Turner how to live in his new surroundings by teaching him the correct way to hit a baseball, dig for clams, and row a boat. The novel depicts the changing of the tides that come in and out at different times which Turner and Lizzie learn that is how life changes.
Jacket illustration copyright 2004 by Stefano Vitale

Zachary age 14: I like history books because I'm a history addict.