Editor’s note: The following article is a synopsis written by staff members and volunteers of the Cary Public Library highlighting one of the suggested reading books, as determined by their staff.
One of the true stories of Coastal Maine islands is “Abbie Against the Storm” by award-winning author Marcia Vaughan and illustrated with appropriately gloomy art by Bill Farnsworth.
At 17, Abbie has learned to keep the twin towers of Matinicus Rock lighthouse in tip-top shape, shining glass and reflectors, filling the oil lamps and lighting the wicks. All the safe- guiding light from the lighthouse depended on the constant care given by the lighthouse keeper.
When her Mom becomes sick and food supplies are drastically low on the Rock, Mr. Burgess sails a small dory to the mainland for food and medicine. Not long after her father leaves, the worst storm in 200 years begins bashing the tiny island and the lighthouse washing away the outbuildings and even sending water into the towers themselves.
Abbie holds herself, her family and the lighthouse job together until her father comes back.
Most of us would have gone 200 miles inland after the experience, but not Abbie. She goes on to marry a lighthouse keeper, has four children and is paid $440/year for her labor. And guess what marks her grave? You might be right! Check out your answer in Junior Fiction, Section I, in the Children’s Library.
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