Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt

So, I finished this book the other day. And I’m still recovering from the punches in the gut. And yet, I’ve come away with the impression, nay conviction, that this was a beautiful book. Darn that Gary D. Schmidt. Oh yeah. This one won both a Newbery honor AND a Printz honor. Crazy.

So, Turner Ernest Buckminster III is a minister’s son. It’s the early 1900s, and he has just moved with his family to Phippsburg, Maine. Right away, things don’t go so well. Turner fails to play baseball well, ends up in trouble with a local old lady, and generally disappoints his father left and right. Then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin and the other inhabitants of Malaga Island.

“I could teach you how to do that,” she said.

“How to do what? Get fit in the face with a rock? I don’t need to learn how to do that.”

“No you’re plenty good enough at that as it is. I mean to swing a bat, if that’s what you’re doing. And my name, by the way, is Lizzie. Lizzie Griffin.”

“Thanks, but I already know how to swing a bat. And my name, by the way, is Turner. Turner Ernest Buckminster.”

“Doesn’t look to me like you do. And I have a middling name, too.”

“I do any place where they know how to pitch. And what is it?”

“Well, Turner Ernest Buckminster, your problem isn’t the pitch, it’s the swing. It’s Lizzie Bright Griffin.”

“Then let’s see you swing, Lizzie Bright Griffin.”

Like I said before, this is a beautiful story. And a gut-wrenching one. So be prepared for that. Schmidt is a gifted writer, and I loved both Turner and Lizzie so much. And that’s probably all you should know before you read it. I highly recommend it.

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt [rating:4]

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