Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie

Peter Roop, Connie Roop
Illustrator:  Peter E. Hanson 
Historical Fiction
For ages 6 to 8
Lerner Publishing Group, 1987   ISBN: 0876144547

Abbie’s father, Captain Burgess, has to go and get some much needed supplies for the family, and for the lighthouses that he tends. They need food, oil for the lamps, and medicine for Abbie’s sick mother. Abbie is not happy at the thought of her father leaving the family alone on Matinicus Rock because she is afraid that a storm may blow in, and thus prevent him from returning home. Even more, Abbie worries that if this happens, she will have to take care of the lighthouse lights by herself, and she has never done this before.

As it happens Abbie was right to worry about a storm coming. Matinicus Rock is soon cut off from the mainland by a very fierce winter storm that lasts for a whole four weeks. During this time, Abbie tends the lights despite terrible winds, rain, and enormous waves that seem big and strong enough to wash away all the buildings on the rock.

This tale is based on the true story of Abbie Burgess who lived on Matinicus Rock off the coast of Maine. The authors bring her story to life and show us how brave she and her sisters must have been during those dreadful four weeks. Abbie’s courage must have saved countless ships from being smashed on the rocks.

With an engaging text and warm evocative watercolour illustrations, this is a wonderful book for early readers.

This is a Reading Rainbow Book