View Full Version : Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy: Racism in U.S.

09-24-2015, 07:39 PM
If you're looking for a book to cover racism in the early 1900s in the U.S., this one could be a good fit for you. I think this book addresses racism in a more approachable way for a younger set than To Kill a Mockingbird can. The sexual issues are not present here, like in Mockingbird. It's historical fiction, examining the eviction of the people on Malaga Island. I liked working through this text with my 12 year old because I wanted to address how racism exists on both a personal level (racist individuals) and on a social / governmental level.

The story revolves around a young boy's adjustment to moving from Boston to a community in Maine. There's a delightful friendship between a white boy (the protagonist) and a black girl. The book looks at how others respond to this friendship. Then there is the issue of the town wanting to use Malaga Island to build a resort area. The problem? People already live there--people of "mixed race." They are seen as undesirables.

There is also an interesting relationship between the protagonist and an elderly woman that my kiddo found funny and annoying and perplexing and enjoyable all at the same time. It opened good discussions about how our society views and treats the elderly. This idea opened the door for examining different types of prejudice in society, namely ageism and even sexism. It examines grappling with death as well.

It's a classic coming of age story and historical fiction rolled into a nice little package! My 12 year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed it.