Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D Schmidt

This past year I have enjoyed being part of the Book of the Quarter group at Calvin Theological Seminary. Each quarter President Neil Plantinga selects a book that a number of folks read and we get together a few times over lunch at the Seminary and talk about what we have read. I’ve read some good books (only one of which I’ve reviewed before on this blog – I’m not sure why I only reviewed one of them) and I’ve enjoyed the fellowship and discussions about the books. These are not typically books about preaching or theology, rather they are good and interesting books that inform our thinking and generate discussion.

This quarter the book is by Gary Schmidt, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Gary is a colleague of mine at Calvin College and this book has won a number of awards including being named a Newberry Honor Book, one of the highest awards that a book for children can receive. So one would expect this to be a good book. What I didn’t expect was that it would grab me as it did and that the writing would be as crisp and as delightful as it was. The plot is based on historical events from Malaga Island, off the coast of Maine in the early part of the twentieth century. Schmidt gives us this history story through the eyes of a boy, a minister’s son, who can’t imagine why the town of Phippsburg would want to get rid of the people who live on nearby Malaga Island, including a young girl he befriends.

Even though it is a children’s book it is not short. But even at 216 pages, I had a hard time putting the book down. Gary Schmidt has done a wonderful job with this book and it is well worth the read.

1 comment:

wierdo52 said...

We read this book as part of our Thorubos reading group in 2005 and were equally entranced. The writing springs off the page, demanding to be read aloud. I particularly like the way the wind becomes almost a character in the novel, full of life and laden with meaning.