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Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

A Book Review and Recommendation

Rylie Bienkowski, Journalist

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In Mr. Knapp’s 8th grade English class, all the students have recently finished reading a book called “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy”, written by Gary D. Schmidt. This particular book is historical fiction, and it talks about the real-life events of the people of Malaga Island being kicked out by the people of Phippsburg. They’re fishing business was going downhill, so they decided to try and go into tourism. The leaders of Phippsburg thought that people wouldn’t come to stay in a hotel with shabby houses and a rundown town right across from it. People were shocked when this book was first published in 2004 by Clarion Books.

“Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy” by Gary D. Schmidt introduced us to Turner Buckminster- the son of the new reverend of Phippsburg, Maine. He is moving with his parents from Boston, Massachusetts. When he arrives, no one is there to greet him. One day, while Turner is exploring the shoreline, he meets a girl from Malaga Island. Almost immediately they form a bond, a forbidden friendship of sorts. However, their relationship is threatened when the leaders of Phippsburg want to build a hotel and need the people of Malaga to leave. Turner and Lizzie are determined to stop them, but will their friendship be enough to put a stop to the most powerful people in Phippsburg? Including Reverend Buckminster himself…

There are a few characters from “Lizzie Bright…” that have really piqued my interest. For instance, we don’t hear a lot of insight from Mrs. Buckminster, Turner’s mother. Whenever she does appear, she seems to urge Turner to do what he believes is right, and wants him to make decisions for himself. Another character that I have grown fond of is Reverend Griffin, Lizzie’s grandfather. As you probably guessed, he is the reverend of Malaga Island. He is very welcoming and impartial towards Turner. He is also very protective of his family and home. The last character I want to talk about is Mrs. Hurd- Deacon Hurd’s mother. She is an older woman (and the only one with yellow shudders on her house). She seems to want to defy what seems to be the norm in Phippsburg. I believe Mrs. Hurd is someone you can go to for advice, or support when you’re feeling down.

Gary D. Schmidt includes a variety of different scenes that a reader will enjoy, along with sophisticated language and detailed descriptions. I would recommend this particular book to anyone who is a fan of books similar to “Harry Potter” or anyone who likes to read about human history- with a twist.

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Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy