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Review: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

May 24, 2009

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

In the early 1900s, Turner Buckminster had just moved from Boston to Phippsburg, Maine and didn’t feel like he fit in.  Everything’s different and no one could forget that his father’s the local minister.   Turner longed for Boston, until he met Lizzie Bright Griffin.  Lizzie is a young black girl who lived on Malaga Island with her grandfather (who happens to be a minister too).  Turner visited Malaga Island and found it and the people who live there to be magical.

The shipyards in Phippsburg were failing, so the people, led by Deacon Heard, have decided to turn to tourism to stimulate the economy.  Deacon Heard convinced everyone that they need to get rid of the settlement on Malaga Island because no one will want to vacation in Phippsburg if they can see the hovels on the island.  Turner’s father sided with the townspeople.  Turner knew what they were doing was wrong, but didn’t know how to fight them.  Turner discovered that he had wisdom and maturity beyond his years.

I listened to Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt on a recent trip and thought it was fantastic!  I laughed and cried while I listened.  Sam Freed does a wonderful job with the narration, using different voices for different characters and even using a Maine accent.  The audio runs for 6 hours and 49 minutes.  I loved the characters – Lizzie is smart, sassy and wise, while Turner is curious, kind and innocent.  The story is well developed and engrossing.  This is a YA book, but I just loved it.  It’s a Newbery Honor Book and a Michael Printz Award Honor Book.

At the end of the book there was an author’s note that explained that the book and its characters are a work of fiction, but Malaga Island and its inhabitants are not.  The residents of Malaga Island were forced from their homes and their homes were destroyed, yet a resort area was never built.  I found this interesting video about Malaga Island:

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2009 7:47 am

    Love that cover!

    Here is my TSS post

  2. May 24, 2009 8:04 am

    Wow! I have never heard of this book, but it looks like one that I definitely need to read! YA is just great!

  3. May 24, 2009 8:13 am

    Sounds like a great book. Such a shame that all those people lost their homes for no good reason.

  4. May 24, 2009 8:28 am

    This sounds like a book I must read!

  5. May 24, 2009 9:42 am

    Hummm: Great cover? Check. YA? Check. Maine? Check. Audio? Check. I’m definitely going to have to find this one.

  6. May 24, 2009 11:00 am

    Oh, this sounds really good! I’m going to look it up! Thanks for spotlighting it.

  7. May 24, 2009 12:23 pm

    An excellent story about the misguided things people do to each other. I like when you find these videos to enhance your reviews.

  8. May 24, 2009 12:32 pm

    This looks fantastic! Narrators can make an audiobook a more pleasant reading experience. This sounds like a good book for a road trip with my son who would enjoy it also. I’ll be looking for a copy of this book.

  9. May 24, 2009 12:51 pm

    Great Review. It is always good when we get to take a little something away from a book. Reading enriches out lives in so many ways.

  10. May 24, 2009 3:26 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  11. May 24, 2009 7:20 pm

    Great cover. thanks for the terrific review too! 🙂

  12. May 24, 2009 9:15 pm

    I read this book a few years ago and loved it!!!
    Teachers in middle school history would find this a great read.

  13. May 24, 2009 9:46 pm

    This sounds like a great book I would enjoy reading. I also think the cover art is fantastic.

  14. May 24, 2009 10:23 pm

    I’m glad you mentioned the audio version of this….I’ve gotten to where I really appreciate a good narrator and will only listen to books that have gotten great reviews for the narrator!

  15. May 25, 2009 2:37 am

    Sounds like a fun book. I seen Malaga Island in some movie and it’s beautiful. I would love to read (or hear 🙂 ) a book in that setting.

  16. May 26, 2009 11:16 am

    Ooooh, this one sounds great! I think I will put the audio on my wish list. Maine is in my part of the world, I like books set in New England.

  17. Carol permalink
    May 26, 2009 1:49 pm

    I love the cover.

  18. May 26, 2009 5:14 pm

    Sounds very interesting – I’m adding it to my wish list.

  19. May 27, 2009 4:51 pm

    I haven’t head of this one before but it does sound like a good read. I just hate to hear about people being forced out of their homes in the name of progress 😦

  20. people permalink
    June 9, 2009 11:58 am

    This is a bad book i read it and it is a slow read i hated it it was really boring and at the beggining he is dissing
    Maine! that is not right i live in Maine and it is beautiful

  21. June 17, 2009 12:11 pm

    I’ve never heard of the island or its story. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

    –Anna

  22. Lydia permalink
    May 1, 2010 1:21 am

    This book is amazing I am so glad I got to read it I had never even heard of it till my teacher told us about it. Now I am trying to find a place to buy it but I can’t find one anywhere.

  23. June 10, 2010 11:25 am

    I stayed up until midnight last night finishing this book! I didn’t think anything could top The Wednesday Wars — but this came close. I have added Gary Schmidt to my list of favorite authors. His works are amazing!

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