by Hopkinson, Deborah
Author Deborah Hopkinson drew from 19th-century lighthouse keepers' diaries to inform this story of Birdie [Bertha] Holland, who, as we meet her on her 10th birthday, learns that her sailor father has been named keeper of Maine's Turtle Island lighthouse. The family will move to the cold, rocky island whose light guards the lives of seagoers.
Birdie learns to clip the lamp wicks and polish the reflectors that light the way. "Papa ... isn't sure a girl can do it, but I know I can learn to keep the light. I won't let him down."
And she doesn't. In a huge storm, Birdie tends the light alone, clinging to railings in the wind and blowing waves as she follows the life-and-death ritual that keeps the ships from harm.
"... Papa is so proud of me he told everyone in the village how I kept the lamps burning," Birdie tells us. Young readers will be pretty proud of her too.
[The publisher suggests ages 4-9 for this book; older readers with a touch of the romantic in them may enjoy it also.]
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