Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

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Overview

[set star] "Both beautiful and emotionally honest, both funny and piercingly sad."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
Turner Buckminster hates Phippsburg, Maine. Then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart, sassy girl from a poor nearby island community. Lizzie introduces Turner to the wonders of Maine's coast. But the two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner's father, want to force the people to ...

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Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

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Overview

[set star] "Both beautiful and emotionally honest, both funny and piercingly sad."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
Turner Buckminster hates Phippsburg, Maine. Then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart, sassy girl from a poor nearby island community. Lizzie introduces Turner to the wonders of Maine's coast. But the two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner's father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie's island to start a tourist trade there. Based on the true story of a community's destruction, this sensitively written novel highlights a unique friendship during a time of change, and was awarded both a Newbery Honor and Printz Honor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this novel set in turn-of-the-20th-century Maine, the son of a white pastor befriends a girl from Malaga Island, a community founded by former slaves. These fully formed characters probe the ills of society and the joys of friendship. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Gloriously figurative language...brilliantly evokes both time and place...both beautiful and emotionally honest, both funny and piercingly sad."—Kirkus, starred reviews

"A powerful tale of friendship and coming-of-age...haunting combination of fact and fiction has a powerful and tragic climax."—Booklist, ALA, starred review

"An evocative novel...with fully developed, memorable characters...fascinating, little-known piece of history...will leave a powerful impression on readers."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Schmidt fictionalizes a true event... vividly realized...fully credible...subtly drawn."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Historical incident ignites a rich novel...a drama that examines the best and worst of humanity."—Horn Book

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618439294
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/24/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary D. Schmidt is the bestselling author of Okay For Now , the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy , and the Newbery Honor book The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2007

    OK/GOOD BOOK

    This is an ok/good book. It gets better at the end...I'm not done yet but now the book gets more exciting. I'm on chapter 10 right now..At the beginning, I took a little, hmm.. shall we say, hiatus and stopped reading it. But then I picked up again and it became good. So my point is, even when it may seem boring at times, keep on reading, it will get better.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

    The chapter book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt. Is about a boy named Tucker who is forced to have to move from Boston to Maine because his dad just a got a job as a minster. Tucker is constantly being teased because of his dad's occupation and he just feels like he has absolutely no friends. He is extremely unhappy. One day he is at the beach when he meets a girl named Lizzie. She is African American; in fact the first African American Tucker has ever met. Lizzie is from the Island of Malaga which is a poor community founded by slaves. Even though things are tough for Lizzie she always seems to see the bright side to things and shows Tucker the beauty that Maine truly has to offer. Tucker and Lizzie become close friends. When the story progresses, the town that Tucker moved too in Maine decides that they want to destroy the island of Malaga to create more room for tourists since their shipbuilding industry is not doing so well. Also this town in Maine is extremely racist and decides to remove Lizzie along with other Malaga people. The Malaga people are sent away to live some where else. This entire act of racism, hate, and greed angers Tucker. He stands up for what he believes is right, but it was too late because Lizzie died. As the story comes to and end Tucker and his father both stand up for the Malaga people against their town in Maine and Tuckers father is killed.
    Readers Response:
    I really enjoyed this book. It's very realistic and actually based on a true even in 1912. This was an extremely sad story. However, the issues of greed and racism through out this book can be related to what has gone on in America's history along with current issues of racism. This book has the ability to connect too many students and stir several emotions of anger, sadness, and hope within the readers. I would recommend this book to 10-15 year olds.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from Missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    Turner Buckminster has lived in Phippsburg, Maine for almost six whole hours. He has dipped his hands in its waves, smelled the sharp scent of its pine trees. He has looked out at the sea. Turner has even seen the clapboard parsonage beside the church his father will minister now that they are no longer in Boston and the small house beyond whose function he could not yet fathom (and soon enough would not believe).

    Six whole hours in Maine.

    He didn't know how much longer he could stand it.

    After a dismal arrival, a disastrous baseball game and one too many reminders that he is, in fact, a minister's son, Turner is just about ready to light out for the territories. Surely, life out west would be better. It would certainly be simpler with no need to remember his manners and always wear those darned starched white shirts that simply do not work in the summer heat.

    At least Turner has the sea breeze to keep him company. Being a sneaky, playful breeze it soon leads Turner to Malaga Island and his first friend in Maine.

    Lizzie Bright Griffin is Turner's opposite in almost every way. She has lived on Malaga all her life, just like her parents and her granddaddy. A community founded by former slaves, Malaga is a poor island and largely seen as a blemish on the landscape by Phippsburg's elite. But to Lizzie it is the most wonderful place in the world. It is home.

    Turner and Lizzie have every reason to hate each other. Instead they become fast friends. Soon enough Turner can't imagine his life without knowing Lizzie or Malaga. Meanwhile, change is coming. Phippsburg is plotting to force the islander's off Malaga to pave the way for a lucrative tourist industry that will lead Phippsburg into the future.

    The change seems inevitable. Still Turner feels he and Lizzie have to try and fight this horrible injustice. Only time will tell if it will be enough to save Malaga in Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (2004) by Gary D. Schmidt.

    This story is based on the real life destruction of Malaga island in 1912 and (spoiler alert, insofar as a real event can be considered a spoiler) the island is not saved. Schmidt has created a stunning novel about a real story that is shocking but also needs to be told and remembered.

    The writing here is charming and surprisingly appealing given the narrow focus of the narrative. Biblical references Turner acquired from his minister's-son-upbringing are interwoven seamlessly in a way that works even if the source behind the references is not always clear to readers with a different knowledge set.

    Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is also the only book I know of that is both a Newbery and Printz award honor book (both honors received in 2005). This never happens. It's kind of as amazing as Sandra Bullock's recent awards sweep winning the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy and a drama and winning the Oscar for best actress besides. It's just really rare and a real sign of overall awesomeness for a book written for young people.

    Despite a very clearly defined plot (as is the way when a story is based on real events), this book is not easy to make sense of just based on a blurb or the cover. That's because Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is a very subtle, smart book. It really needs to be read before you can fully appreciate its magic. Phippsburg and its inhabitants are fully realized as characters. Even the sea breeze has its own special place as a character of sorts movin

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Secret Iidentity

    In class for middle we are readinng this book it is funny at times and sad at others. We are only on chapter three but it is still intresting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Pretty Good Pretty Good

    I liked this story, it had good descriptions and there were some cliffhanger parts. Although tge book waa prtty good it got a little depressing near the end and lot of people die.
    Other than that I enjoyed the read. I recommend it for 6th and up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    READ THIS!!!!!!

    Didn't get it at first then i got the sway to it and it's o.k. but it relly made it itresting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Not good

    I HATE HATE HATE this book. It was given to me for school and I couldn't get past the first few chapters

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2012

    Amazing story!

    Gary Schmidt is good. I loved Wednesday Wars and Ok for Now. But Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy blew me away. This man can write! I feel like i know these people. I WANT to know these people. He draws you in and keeps you reading till he's done. And then you want more. Thank you Mr. Schmidt for sharing your talent with the world.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    very intriguing story, eye-opening, would definitely recommend

    it told a story I had not known very enlightening!

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended- Excellent story

    This book was well written and shows how children do not look at a friend's skin color or financial standing in life. The story shows the discrimination and bigotry of the adults to move settlers off an island of Maine who lived there for centuries. The townspeople wanted to build a hotel to attract tourist to the area.

    The children showed more compassion and smarts than the adults. A story for young and old.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Beautifully written

    One of my favorite authors. With humor and grace he tells the sad story of a people wronged and of a boy who could onlybe himself no matter how hard he tried to be someone/something else. Read his other books if you haven't already.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    TOTAL BULLSH*T!

    -1 billion stars! Worst book ever! Pathetic!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Moving, but sad

    Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is a children’s historical novel about a minister’s son who must confront narrow-mindedness in the townspeople and even his own father when his family moves to a small town in Maine. This book gives a “realistic” look at how blinded people can be by their own prejudices. I listened to it as an audiobook, and found myself in the awkward position of tearing up in public while I was listening to it on a walk. Luckily I pretended it was the sharp winter air that was giving me the sniffles. This book’s reading level is appropriate for perhaps 5th graders, but the content is a bit mature. I hated depressing books when I was that age!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Huh

    Does it have romance

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Tragic ending!!!!

    I wrote the previous review, but my view of the book has changed completely. The ending was terrible!!! I was practically sobbing by the end!!! If you don't like depressing books, do not read this one!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Better for adults or lovers of classics

    I am not a fan of classics, but we are reading this book in my seventh grade class. I personally think that it is a little too wordy and best suited for an older audience. I am not saying that many of you might be perfectly capable even at a youmg age of reading this, it just might not be as as fun to read as other novels.

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    ??????

    Is it worth reading??????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2009

    If you are looking for a well written and obsorbing book, Lizzie Bright is a great book to read. With a wonderful plot and great detail, Gary Schmidt conveys the horror of racial discrimination in this compelling novel.

    What do you see when you look into the eye of a whale? Turner Buckminster finds out. Moving from Boston to Maine was hard for Turner, especilly because the town of Phippsburg expects Turner to be their model ministers son. He needs a place to get away from the people, who are always finding faults. Thats when he meets Lizzie Bright, a black girl who lives on the poor Malaga Island.
    When Turner tries to help Lizzie and her people, who are being driven off Malaga Island, he finds there is a terrible price to pay for all who go against the tide of Phippsburg.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Going against the tide

    Turner becomes friends with the forbidden Lizzie, and he pays a dear price. He stands up for himself and what he believes is right. In the end, it is the adults in the story who learn powerful lessons from the children around them. A great discussion book for classrooms and a delight for any adult to read. Well written and sprinkled with humor.

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  • Posted November 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com

    Thirteen-year-old Turner Buckminster III is not happy. He has moved with his parents from Boston to Phippsburg, Maine, and everything that can be wrong is: The local kids play slow-pitch baseball, his stiff white shirts label him "the minister's kid," and his mother isn't kidding when she hands him the Sears, Roebuck catalog and points to the little building out behind the parsonage. And when Turner begins to question the choices that residents of the town--and his father--are making regarding the future of the inhabitants of nearby Malaga Island, Turner begins to fear that what he heard before leaving Boston may have been the truth: "Folks in Maine spoke a whole different language and didn't care for those who couldn't speak it themselves" (p. 2). <BR/><BR/>Schmidt sets this story in 1912, basing it on events which occurred in the Phippsburg/Malaga Island area on the coast of Maine. It starts a little slow, but readers who hang in through the first three chapters will find that he doesn't shy away from emotionally-charged issues such as racism, greed, and social posturing. However, Schmidt's focus is ultimately on the wisdom gained not only by young Turner, but by a surprising number of characters most readers will write off as "hopeless" early in the novel. <BR/><BR/>John Newbery Medal Honor Book, 2005 <BR/><BR/>Michael L. Printz Honor Book, 2005 <BR/><BR/>The Lupine Award Honor Book, 2004

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