The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
Author: Arielle North Olson
Illustrator: Elaine Wentworth
Publisher: Mystic Seaport Museum (2004)
Hardcover, 32 pages, $15.95
While her father is away, 10-year-old Miranda must take up his role as lighthouse keeper. The young girl will have to overcome inclement weather conditions, hunger and illness to keep the light burning brightly until her father returns. She bravely rescues the family's chickens before the chicken coop is washed away. As days stretch into weeks, supplies run so low that the only food Miranda and her mother have are the eggs provided by the hens each day and a small amount of cornmeal mush. Despite their dire situation, Miranda never complains. She simply does what needs to be done to keep the light in operation.
Her father finally returns with much-needed food and a special surprise for Miranda: soil for a garden. The waves scour the rocky island of its soil each winter, making it difficult to maintain a garden, something Miranda had hoped to do. By spring, the story of Miranda's courage is well-known to passing sailors and they bring her soil on an almost daily basis. Miranda packs the soil between the rocks and soon the island is teeming with colorful flowers.
Lovely watercolor illustrations compliment the story. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter was inspired by real-life lighthouse heroine Abbie Burgess, and the gardens at Mount Desert Rock Lighthouse.
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