A YEAR ON MONHEGAN ISLAND by Julia Dean

A YEAR ON MONHEGAN ISLAND

by , photographed by
Age Range: 9 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

 An intriguing visit to a rocky island off the Maine coast; a tourist mecca in the summer, almost completely isolated the rest of the year. As Dean's eye-filling full-color photos amply demonstrate, the islanders have successfully preserved Monhegan's rustic charm and rugged natural beauty--even the natives (permanent residents generally number less than a hundred) are photogenic. Their sense of community is founded on ritual: each Christmas the handful of school children choose, cut, and decorate a school tree; everyone participates in Trap Day, the opening of the winter lobstering season; all gather atop Burnt Head cliff to watch Easter sunrise, then adjourn to the Boehmer's for Raquel's doughnuts and other baked goods. The author's choice of detail is consistently perceptive, bringing out both the common and uncommon aspects of island life (particularly notable is a picture of Peter Boehmer, working at his battery-operated computer by the light of a kerosene lamp), and her account is not sugary or idealized; though the residents live off tourism and seem to be fairly well-off, they are still subject to the physical hazards of isolation (no doctor, for instance) and differences of opinion over local issues. Dean's first book is a fine study of a tiny community that manages to remain stable despite unusual pressures. (Nonfiction. 9- 11)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-395-66476-4
Page count: 48pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1995




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