Fiction Elizabeth Chipman From the Lighthouse

ISBN 13: 9780525473121

From the Lighthouse

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9780525473121: From the Lighthouse

The river, the lighthouse, and her family are all that thirteen- year-old Weezie Bloom has ever wanted or needed. Not so for Ma, who, without warning, leaves forever. Healing is slow, but the family survives, guided by their father's strength and love. Weezie narrates the changing seasons and evolving moods of a year without Ma--a transforming year at the twilight of the Great Depression. With language as glorious as the autumn landscape on the banks of the Hudson, Weezie's richly textured story will appeal to generations of readers, transporting them to the lighthouse that Weezie proudly calls home.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-9–Chipman uses the real-life starting point of a lighthouse near Hudson, NY, for her imagined story of a lighthouse keeper's family during the Great Depression, from fall 1938 to fall 1939. The narrator, 13-year-old Weezie, has one older and two younger brothers. Without any warning, while the children are at school, Ma leaves the family. She is dissatisfied with her life and the limited view from the lighthouse, which she deems ugly. This leaves their father to carry on without her. The eldest brother rebels and runs away, but Dad brings him back, demonstrating that they are still a family. The children hold out hope that their mother will return, but they finally realize that she is not coming back. They all work together, though one more disaster befalls them: the middle brother dies in a boating accident. While two such devastating losses might be hard for readers, this is ultimately a hopeful book with quiet strength. Weezie comes to see that her view from the lighthouse is different from Ma's; she sees beauty and feels content. An author's note gives historical background about the lighthouse and offers resources for further study.–Laurie von Mehren, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brecksville, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Gr. 5-8. In the late 1930s, 13-year-old Weezie and two of her brothers return to their lighthouse home and find that their mother has left for places unknown. Each family member reacts differently, coping with feelings of rejection, fear of abandonment, and resentment at shouldering more of the household work. When Weezie's secret hope that her mother will return for Thanksgiving leads to new distress and disappointment, she gradually, painfully begins to adjust to her loss. Near the end of the book, when tragedy strikes, she can cope with it. Written in the first person from Weezie's point of view, the narrative records her emotional growth in small but telling ways. Weezie, her brothers, and her father also emerge as well-delineated, convincing individuals. Even the Hudson River plays a significant part: flowing around the lighthouse island, it creates a unique setting, contributes to the plot, and isolates the family even as it brings them together. Chipman appends a historical note about the lighthouse at Hudson City, New York, where the story takes place. It's a sometimes sad but ultimately hopeful novel. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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