by Gary D. Schmidt
Recommended for age 9+
This is the best children's book I've read in a long time. Based loosely on a true story, this Newberry Honor-winning novel is about the life of a preacher's son who stands up to the racist town he lives in.
Turner Buckminster is the new kid in town, and it's not going well. He's already in trouble with his father's parishioners because his behavior is not the perfection they expect, and he's not getting along with the neighborhood kids either.
But his luck changes when he meets Lizzie Bright, who lives with her grandfather on nearby Malaga Island. The two children become fast friends, but when Turner finds out that the white authorities in his town plan to tear down all the shacks on Malaga Island to get rid of the "blight", he has to decide where he stands, even if it means defying his own father. This is not a book where everything has a happy ending, and I think your young readers will find that compelling. I encourage parents to read it, too - it's a great opener to having some meaningful conversations with your kids.
This book is rated PG for some violence and the mature subject of racism.
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