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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy -- buy it and read it.

Schmidt, Gary D.  (2004) Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy  New York:  Clarion

     Go buy this book and read it.
     Okay, that was the short version.  Don't trust me, okay, here is the long version.  You've probably already read Schmidt's Okay for Now.  You remember how when you got about halfway through you couldn't put it down?  You remember how when you were three quarters of the way through you began to get worried because it was clear that the book was going to end at some point and you didn't want it to?   Well, Lizzie Bright does that too, only in a different way.
     Lizzie Bright is a darker book, and the ending is hopeful, but not happy in the same way that Okay for Now is.  And yet, it is a book that rings true about both the things that make the world we live in utterly horrible, and the moments of grace that make life utterly wonderful. 
     But you want to know the plot.  Okay, I'll give it to you -- but I am warning you, the book is far more than just this plot.  You really need to read it. 
     The novel is set in the early 1900s.  Turner Buckminster is the son of a minister who moves to a small town in Maine because his dad takes a new job.  Turner doesn't fit in, has trouble making friends, and finds himself with a lot of time on his hands.  He likes to wander along the beach and one day when he is doing that he discovers that there is an island of the coast of their town that is home to an African-American community. Turner eventually meets and befriends a young (but amazingly full of life) black girl named Lizzie Bright.  The two become best friends despite Turner's father' objections.  Eventually Turner finds out that a businessman in two is trying to pass legislation to evict the community on the island for fear that it will interfere with the tourism they hope to bring in.   Turner encounters ugly racism for the first time in his life and vows to fight it.  Turns out fighting an entire town is not an easy task.
     Look, buy the book.  Read it.  Thank me later.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, read the book and then go to Maine and find the place.