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4.8 4
Young Adult Fiction 374
Lizzie Bright & the Buckminster Boy
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All Turner Ernest Buckminster wants to do is light out for the territories. It’s his one hope for a new life, and a break from the expectations and pressures of being the town minister’s son. But then the Buckminster family moves to Phippsburg, Maine where Turner’s father has been called to be the new pastor for the Congregational Church, and his dream seems to grow farther and farther away. In Phippsburg, Turner seems to get into trouble with the townsfolk every way he turns and he can’t seem to make any friends. They don’t even play baseball in Maine like they do in Boston. But then Turner meets a spunky, sassy, and strong African American girl named Lizzie Bright from the nearby island of Malaga and they instantly become friends. As Lizzie and Turner’s friendship grows, Turner learns that Phippsburg plans to reclaim Malaga, and his father is in charge of it all. The town elders think that they can turn the poor community founded by former slaves into a tourist attraction if they can just send the inhabitants off the island and burn down their homes. Will Turner be able to stop them before Lizzie loses her home?

I really liked this book. It showed a unique friendship that stayed true in times of change. Even though the book was light and enjoyable, it also displayed great values and hit on really powerful topics like death, friendship, love, tragedy, and prejudice. Based on true events, this novel revealed what racism in the 1900’s was really like and how awful African Americans were treated, just because of their skin tone. There’s a lot of interesting history incorporated into the writing.

I recommend this Newberry Honor book and winner of the Michael L. Prinz Award to anybody who enjoys historical fiction or who just appreciates a good story. There are strong characters that you can look up to, a plot that will keep you reading, and an ending that will bring you close to tears.
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