Turner Buckminster has only
been in town for six hours but he already knows he hates this town.
His father has accepted the post of minister at the local church and has
moved the family to Maine. Turner just doesn't seem to fit in.
He's already in trouble with the neighbors. The kids his age pick
on him. He just wants out of this town. When he meets Lizzie
Bright, things change. The two get along really well and have fun
together. Even when Turner is being punished by having to read to
an elderly neighbor, things are just more fun with Lizzie around.
As a matter of fact, the three become good friends. But times are
changing. It's 1911 and the town elders are advocating change.
They cannot support the town through fishing anymore. They are hoping
to attract tourists from Boston and New York and make the town a desirable
destination. One thing stands in their way though. Lizzie's
community. Freed slaves had established a small community on Malaga
Island and they remain to this day. The rundown shacks are clearly
visible from the mainland. So, the town elders tell the inhabitants
of Malaga Island that they have to leave. What will become of them?
This story is based on real events that took place in Maine.
A natural baseball talent,
Turner Buckminster is having difficulty adjusting to life in his new town,
Phippsburg Maine. Here baseball is played differently, and he is not feeling
welcome. Lizzie Bright is a girl that is as smart and sassy as they come.
Turner quickly finds out that there is much to learn from this girl. His
relationship with Lizzie soon causes problems as she is a member of a small
impoverished slave community living on an island off the coast of the town.
The town elders want to rid themselves of the “problem” and develop the
island as a resort. Turner creates problems for himself and his family
when he “steps up to bat” for Lizzie and her community. This Newbery and
Printz honor book is beautifully written and provides the reader with a
story looks at race relations, our prejudice, and how it affects people
in a warm and compelling way. (Mark
Bobrosky, LMT, NBCT, Walter Reed Middle School Library)