Kate’s Light: Kate Walker at Robbins Reef Lighthouse

Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House/. Jan. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823443482.
Gr 3-8–A new entry in the canon of inspiring biographies about strong women. A widowed German immigrant with one child, Kate Kaird came to America knowing very little English. In America, she met and married John Walker, the keeper of the Robbins Reef Lighthouse. Shortly after their marriage, the family of three moved into the lighthouse, and Kate took on the job of lighthouse assistant keeper. Being a lighthouse keeper was an around-the-clock job with no modern amenities. One winter, John caught pneumonia and had to be rowed inland, where he later died. Kate, her son, and her young daughter were told to vacate the lighthouse so a new keeper could move in. Kate petitioned to stay on as a temporary keeper until a new replacement could be found; she stayed on until her retirement decades later. Gorgeously realistic illustrations in watercolor, pen, and ink are offset by no more than four spare sentences on any given page. Details throughout the story will fascinate readers.
VERDICT Such a sturdy, moving story, this is a first purchase for all libraries.

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