A moving coming-of-age story of a white minister’s son who discovers joy through his friendship with a black girl and finds strength after painful losses transform his life.
A 2005 Newbery Honor Book
It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he's a minister's son, even if he doesn't act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father's-and the town's-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine's rocky coast. The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner's father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie's island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity. This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community's destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change. Author's note.
"Gloriously figurative language...brilliantly evokes both time and place...both beautiful and emotionally honest, both funny and piercingly sad." Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"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
"Schmidt fictionalizes a true event... vividly realized...fully credible...subtly drawn." THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"historical incident ignites a rich novel...a drama that examines the best and worst of humanity." HORN BOOK Horn Book
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