Illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root
Ages 5 to 9
Simon and Schuster, 2000, 0-689-83529-9
Bertha, "Birdie" Holland" lives by the sea in Maine with her family. Her father is a fisherman and as she anxiously waits for him to come home Birdie writes about her life in a diary that her father gave her for her tenth birthday. The whole family is afraid for Birdie's father and hope that the lighthouse on Turtle Island will help guide him home.
When Birdie's father comes home they discover that they need not worry about him going out fishing any longer for he has a new job as the lighthouse keeper. The whole family will be moving to lonely Turtle Island to begin a new life.
It is not easy adjusting to their life on the barren little island and Birdie misses some of the things that she had in her old life. At the same time she discovers new pleasures and treasures in her new home. Perhaps the best part of things is when Birdie has to become her father's helper. Then one night a northeaster blows up and Birdie has to tend the light on her own.
This is a spirited tale gives us a picture of a fascinating way of life which is, alas, mostly a thing of the past. It also shows us how a young person can summon up great courage in a time of crisis.
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