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Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  6,457 ratings  ·  1,031 reviews
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, ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 24th 2004 by Clarion Books
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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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Nov 03, 2011 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 02, 2010 Kristine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Cynthia Egbert
I wanted to love this book, I was prepared to love this book, but the author made some choices that caused me to merely like this book. I did not understand or appreciate the use of demonizing of religion and the use of Darwinism as a device to suddenly change the demeanor of the heavy handed father felt clumsy to me. That being said, Mr. Schmidt does use a great story line to remind us of some frightening attitudes that once (I hope in the past) prevailed in this country. He took an ugly true m ...more
A bright three-and-a-half stars.

I am quickly becoming a fan of Gary D. Schmidt. He has a way of creating memorable, authentic characters that I end up really caring about and makes them navigate circumstances that could easily overwhelm them. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is no exception. I find myself charmed by the practical, brave and warm-hearted Lizzie Bright Griffin and the slightly naive, stronger-than-he-knows Turner Buckminster.

This book has layers. There is the story itself: ab
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
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
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.
Dee Davis
This is a good story that shows a friendship between young children from two cultures against all odds. Although Lizzie and Turner had several differences, the two were able to still be friends throughout their circumstances. This would be a good book for anyone that loves history because of the setting of the story, the events that occur throughout the book and the cultural changes that were taking place during that era. Since the story was set in 1912, At first I found that some of the reading ...more
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 Hart
I loved everything about this book and have added Gary D. Smith to my favorite authors list. This is coming-of-age historical fiction at is best, with gorgeous lyrical writing and heart-wrenching emotional reactions. The various themes and conflicts are delicately and deftly presented and handled. Schmidt not only has a remarkable way with words, but his characters almost seem to leap from his book because they are so real. A compelling and powerful read, it will stay with me long after I closed ...more
Gary D. Schmidt writes such wonderfully nuanced characters. Sometimes the characters develop over the course of the book and sometimes our understanding of them is what develops. In Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Mr. Schmidt takes some true events and sketches in details around them. I didn't know this going in so I found myself wondering why some characters weren't changing or unfolding and showing us other qualities as they did in the previous Gary D. Schmidt book I read, Okay for Now, ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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...
The Wednesday Wars Okay for Now Trouble What Came from the Stars Straw Into Gold

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“Books can ignite fires in your mind, because they carry ideas for kindling, and art for matches.” 106 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.” 36 likes
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