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Publisher's Summary

Turner Buckminster can't find anything good to say about his first six hours in Phippsburg, Maine, where even baseball is a different game. He's about ready to light out for the Territories, where every shirt he wears won't have to be starched white and no one will know him as the new minister's son. But after meeting Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl who lives on nearby Malaga Island, a poor community founded by former slaves, he doesn't feel quite so miserable. Lizzie shows Turner how to hit a Maine baseball, dig for clams along the shore, and row a boat next to a whale, opening up a whole new world to him, one filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine's rocky coast.

But the two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner's father, want to force the people of Lizzie's island to leave so that a lucrative tourist trade can be started there. Although Turner is forbidden to step foot on the island, he and Lizzie try to save its people, and get caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter their lives forever.

Gary D. Schmidt has crafted a unique coming-of-age novel based on the true event of an island's destruction in 1912. This novel is a 2005 Newbery Medal Honor Book.

©2004 Gary D. Schmidt (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"The removal of the Malaga community really happened, and Schmidt weaves that history into a powerful tale of friendship and coming-of-age, adding a lyrical sense of the coastal landscape. Characters are drawn without reverence in this haunting combination of fact and fiction that has a powerful and tragic climax." (Booklist)
"Although the story is hauntingly sad, there is much humor, too. Schmidt's writing is infused with feeling and rich in imagery. With fully developed, memorable characters and a fascinating, little-known piece of history, this novel will leave a powerful impression on readers." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

No holds barred

I read this story to my then 8 year old grandson. It is a very touching and sad story but also shows that people can change and do the right thing. It may have been a bit sad for an 8 year old so would probably recommend it for older listeners/readers. It got the point across without being preachy or overly politically correct. Very well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Outstanding performance by Sam Freed!

I had to check whether this book had more than one narrator because the various voices of males and females characters of all ages are so distinct. It seemed there must be a cast of narrators! Excellently done! It made listening to this book a real pleasure. The story is also compelling. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that Schmidt made the story so bleak with so many deaths.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great coming of age story, authentic Maine setting

An engaging story that reveals a fascinating slice of Maine history. I live in Maine near the town in which this story takes place, and the author captures life on the Maine coast beautifully.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

Ok this book was mandatory for my school and I couldn't read it, it was so incredibly boring I had to buy the audio book. I hated this book

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Service

Everything worked out well, nice service. Good book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • tracy
  • thatcher, AZ, United States
  • 09-24-07

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.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful