Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

Birdie’s Lighthouse

What is this book about?

When her fam­i­ly moves to a tiny and des­o­late island off the coast of Maine, Birdie watch­es her father, the light-keep­er, close­ly as he tends the lights. But one stormy night, her father is tak­en ill, and only Birdie knows how to keep the light­house­’s strong beam run­ning. Will she be brave enough to guide the boats safe­ly into harbor?


“The small details of this excel­lent­ly writ­ten and researched tale, such as how the lamps were tend­ed, the need to make sure they nev­er go out, and the descrip­tions of the fam­i­ly’s life on the island, make this sto­ry come to life. An author’s note explains that it is based on the lives of actu­al light­house hero­ines. The detailed water­col­or and pen-and-ink illus­tra­tions are a per­fect match for the nar­ra­tive. They depict each peri­od detail with clar­i­ty and lend atmos­phere to Birdie’s adven­ture, cap­tur­ing the dark hues of the sea and the stark Maine land­scapes and inte­ri­ors. A shin­ing bit of his­tor­i­cal fic­tion for ele­men­tary audi­ences. (School Library Jour­nal)

“Inspired by sto­ries of real 19th-cen­tu­ry light­house hero­ines, this atmos­pher­ic book uses a diary for­mat to shape a por­trait of a brave and lik­able girl. The accom­plished art under­scores the imme­di­a­cy of the nar­ra­tive.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly)

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
illus­tra­tor, Kim­ber­ly Bul­ck­en Root
Anne Schwartz / Atheneum
ages 4 and up, 1997
ISBN 978–0689810527

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