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Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  5,817 ratings  ·  981 reviews
Not only is Turner Buckminster the son of the new minister in a small Maine town, he is shunned for playing baseball differently than the local boys. Then he befriends smart and lively Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from Malaga Island, a poor community founded by former slaves. Lizzie shows Turner a new world along the Maine coast from digging clams to rowing a boat next to ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Yearling (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Andrea
Alright...I have so much to say about this book...this is a winner, a really good book. Excellent. My first Printz Award book for this class. More soon.

Okay..Here's the "more soon" part. This book won the Printz Award, and I really like how they describe their criteria for literary excellence and quality on their website by what it is not. For example, a book is not quality simply by being popular. Although, of course, the two are not mutually exclusive. This book does not look to me like it was
...more
Tiff
Mar 24, 2008 Tiff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone ages 12 and up who can appreciate a well-written, touching tale
Wow. This was an incredibly written, heartbreaking tale. I absolutely loved it. I listened to it on CD while traveling, and so many times I wanted to pull my car over, rewind, and write down a quote from the book. The writing was just amazing. What more can I say.
Tracy
a little boring
Slow beginning and middle. Picks up a little in the last 1/4, but not enough to make up for the other 3/4. The book tries to teach a message, but it takes so long in getting there that its a little bit anti-climatic once it does come.
Kyle
I was forced to take a moment and catch my breath after I closed this book. I needed to gather myself, order my thoughts, and reflect on everything I had just read. The best part about it? I will still need to do so for a long time to come. I can already predict the amount of "staying power" this book will have upon my mind, and the thought makes me smile.

I will be able to categorize every YA book, from here on out, into two categories: The YA books I've read before this book, and the YA books I
...more
Lars Guthrie
In 'The Wednesday Wars', Schmidt visited the Vietnam War era. Here he goes back to 1912, just as successfully. But calling 'Lizzie Bright' an historical novel, though it is based on real events, is too limiting.

Like 'Wednesday Wars,' it's about a boy growing up and beyond his father, helped along by a spunky girl and some wise women. Unlike that book, though, it's not completely about finding happy endings. The town of Phippsburg, Maine, did evict the black settlers of neighboring Malaga Island
...more
Jessica
I'm sorry to say I didn't like this book at all. It wasn't terrible, I just found it terribly boring. I actually fell asleep twice while reading it, and almost fell asleep a bunch more times throughout. I think it's just Gary Schmidt's writing style. I've never been very fond of overly descriptive narration. At least half of this book is just description, and most of it not essential description, or at least it felt like it to me. I also didn't like the ending. I understand that this book was ba ...more
Emily
Oh Gary D. Schmidt-how do I love thee, let me count the ways.

1. Wonderful insight into boys who really try to be good. Even better in this book with all of poor Turners mishaps
2. His love of the arts and the influence they can have for good in lives both young and old
3. Connection with nature
4. Constant exploration of how the young are the ones who are still innocent enough to try harder, especially with treating people right.
5. Belief in the innate goodness of most people, even if it takes most
...more
Isha R
WORST BOOK EVER. A lot of repetition and slow paced plot events. Too much confusing whale metaphors. It was overall boring and it just wasn't intriguing. It was the book that did not really pull you in and you just wanted to abandon it. If you are looking for a historical fiction book, don't read this one. I would give it one star.
D.C.
I feel snobbish for giving this book such a low rating. Let's just say that this is probably the best 1-star book I will ever rate. It's got wonderful wit, great writing, real characters, numbing poignancy… I could just go on and on. At one moment, I actually wanted to scream out loud and let the tears flow because I wasn't sure how much more of the poignancy and getting angry at fictional characters I could take. But here's my quibble. Why in the world did Schmidt feel the need to introduce the ...more
Allyson Faith
This is a young adult novel that I've been hearing about for the last year. It is remarkable, and I now wish I'd read it earlier. I want everyone I know to read it --it's that good. It's set in 1912 in a small town in Maine. The main character is the teenage son of a minister who has a new job in this town--so this boy, Turner, his father and mother move from Boston to Maine. Turner doesn't hit it off with the local boys, but one day when beachcombing he meets Lizzie Bright--one of the young Afr ...more
Kristin
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster boy was definitely a cute book. The characters were mostly stock characters though, which was disappointing. The main character, Turner, learns a lot from his father, his mother, Darwin, and the girl he meets on Malaga Island, Lizzie Bright. He learns to stand up for himself, even when it went against his parents' wishes. The theme of racism is very strong in this book, and Turner aims to fight the racism of the town elders, but ultimately fails. This book is tr ...more
Lisa
Nov 03, 2011 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: book club
Turner Buckminster moves to Maine when his father takes a position as a minister in Phippsburg in the early 1900's. Turner becomes friends with Lizzie Bright who is from a poor island community founded by former slaves. As he develops relationships with Lizzie and others from the town, he faces prejudice and other social difficulties. It is interesting to watch the growth of the characters as they face adversity. While the book addresses some tough topics, it also has its lighter moments as well ...more
Kristine
Mar 02, 2010 Kristine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kristine by: Trent Mikesell
This was a really good book. I really really liked it. After I read the book the author's note at the end said it was based on a true story!!! Made the ending even sadder!

This is the story of a minister's family who moves from Boston to small-town Maine at the turn of the century. There is some conflict between the town and the residents of a nearby island . . . but this book is so much more than that.

The only thing that kept it from a 5 star is that I think in most situations of conflict ther
...more
Elizabeth Andrew
This was the most stunningly beautiful kids' book I've read in ages! Why isn't it more well known? Well, here's my theory: Because Turner Buckminster's story is essentially about finding God in the natural world and in ordinary, beloved friendship that defies race and culture. This isn't exactly the stuff of popular literature.

Schmidt's story has a lot of flaws (the lack of back-story for Tucker's parents and the flatness of the evil characters, to name two) but the exceptionally lyrical descrip
...more
Stephen Lee
This is a story about a pastor's son who wants to leave to an unknown world and a negro girl who lives in an island that will be destroyed soon. This is a story based on real history. It is a tragic but beautiful story that shows friendship and true love. It is really sorrowful but has beautiful friendship between two of them. That makes me feel sad.

Turner was a son of a pastor. His family moved to Maine. He had to be nice and perfect because he was a pastor's son. And there was a negro girl L
...more
Karen Helgesen
From its delightful folk art cover (the one pictured here is not the one on my issue) to the last line of this exquisite but disturbing tale, this book tells of hope in the face of overt racism. There is nothing ordinary between these two young friends Gary Schmidt brings together. They are funny and honest and wise beyond their years. And the great wise one in the sea, the whale, is woven into the story so creatively, that one is caught up and carried away with the poetry of the writing. This i ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
The friendship between a preacher's son and a black girl in 1912 Maine is tested by the prejudice of the townspeople. Great character development. It was good, but I wouldn't have given it a Newbery honor book award.
Nandan Seth
I think the book was really boring, and went too deep into religion an I couldn't understand half of those religious words, which made it boring. Also there were too many deaths!
Linda Lipko
Once again Schmidt did it! He wrote an outstandingly beautiful book dealing with very complex, gritty issues.

This book was written before The Wednesday Wars and received the 1995 Newbery Honor award. It is particularly poignant, outstandingly breathtaking and incredibly tragic.

Based upon true occurrences of race-related issues in Phippsbubrg, Maine, the setting is the early 1900's wherein an interracial community of African Americans, who were rich in values and culture, but poor in financial me
...more
Natalie
I got this book on CD and sadly neglected my poor children today. Once I began listening to this book, I couldn't stop until I knew what happened. This is a fictionalized account of something that really happened in the early 20th century. The author did an excellent job giving the reader characters that inspire a whole range of emotions. It seems I felt everything today, sorrow, joy, humor, indignation, anger, etc. Sadly throughout the whole thing I felt hopeless because of my understanding of ...more
Sarah
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
by Gary Schmidt

Coming of age/racism/father-son relationship/Christian faith

Turner Buckminster, the ministers son, moves into the small town of Phippsburg Maine and finds himself struggling to fit in. The town is rigid and unaccepting, and Turner is absolutely miserable. When he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin and experiences life on Malaga Island for the first time he begins to understand what real happiness and freedom feel like. When he learns that the town off
...more
Megan
In this novel, a young minister's son, Turner, moves with his family to the small coastal town of Phippsburg. Turner arrives at Phippsburg asa a young boy, unable to hit a baseball iwth a softball pitch, and the story ends when he has matured and been enlightened with burning knowledge of the world. Much of this burning knowledge was ascertained by reading Charles Darwin's works, but even more of the knowledge came from his experiences with death and hardship. He witnesses the town weed out the ...more
Megan
This book 'found me and twisted around me like a cat asking for a bowl of milk' - to borrow from the book. It played with me and drew me in until I would have to 'pause and quiver' at the sheer beauty of it. It toyed with me, 'scooting around me and pulling at my ears. It threw up the dust off the road into my face, to turn me around, and when I leaned into it, it suddenly let go and pushed at me from behind, laughing.' It punched me in the nose and then poked me in the eye. Because, every time ...more
Sydney2adams
I picked this book up because Gary Schmidt is a required author for my class. I usually don't like tween books because they tend to have shallow writing.
This book is anything, but shallow. Schmidt doesn't deprive his readers of intricate writing. It's about racism, but it's more than that. It's about recognizing the value in the different. It is about standing up for what is right maybe when those over you don't. Its about the beautiful things two humans can contribute to each other. When you lo
...more
Emma (Miss Print)
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 d
...more
Vanna Barr
This book is a very well-written, very entertaining book set in 1912 about a minister's son who moves to Phippsburg, a small town in Massachusetts, when his dad is asked to pastor the church in that small seaside town. When he arrives, our 13 year old protagonist doesn't get along with any of the other kids from that town and ends up befriending a young girl who lives on a nearby island called Malaga.

The problem is that the people of Phippsburg are trying to evict all persons living on that isla
...more
Melissa
Turner is bullied, beaten, struck out, and left out on a raft.
Not a pleasant welcome for the preacher’s kid to Phippsburg, Maine.
I adored author Gary Schmidt’s juvenile novel, The Wednesday Wars, and wanted to follow it up with another of his offerings. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, did not disappoint.
From the moment Turner moves to Phippsburg, it seems that everything that can go wrong does: he irritates an elderly resident to the point where he must serve his “time” reading to her and
...more
Jessica
I did not intend to like this book, I must admit. The hardcover cover illustration was . . . well, off-putting for me, and I'm really glad they did something new, because this is a book not to be missed. Based on true events, it's the story of a preacher's son who befriends a free black girl, on the eve of her community being destroyed to make way for a resort. Yep, a New England community of freed slaves and their children were ousted from their homes so that the view wouldn't be spoiled. But m ...more
Krisette Spangler
I really enjoyed this coming of age story. It was wonderful to watch the change of heart that came over many of characters in the story as it progressed. Mrs. Cobb became one of my favorite people. I also loved the author's use of the wind as a character in the novel, it really set the tone for what was happening. It was sad to learn the book was based on historical events, and the people of Malaga were actually evicted from their homes to make way for progress and profit. I'll be recommending t ...more
Barbara Triggs
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Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

More about Gary D. Schmidt...
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“Books can ignite fires in your mind, because they carry ideas for kindling, and art for matches.” 96 likes
“The world turns and the world spins, the tide runs in and the tide runs out, and there is nothing in the world more beautiful and more wonderful in all its evolved forms than two souls who look at each other straight on. And there is nothing more woeful and soul-saddening than when they are parted...everything in the world rejoices in the touch, and everything in the world laments in the losing.” 31 likes
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