Release Date: July 16, 2003
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Although Louie lived fictionally 100 years ago, his growing up experiences with a single parent, his grief over the loss of his father, and the peer pressure he faces can happen to twelve and thirteen-year old boys in any century. Experience life as lighthouse families lived at the turn of the twentieth century and enjoy this first story in the summer of 1903 in a four-story series.
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“After his father dies, 13 year old Louie Hollander and his mother must move away from their old home and find a way to make a living. They are hired as keepers of Two Tree Island Lighthouse on Windlass Bay - temporarily. In order to keep the job, Louie and his ma must prove that they can handle the hard work. Tending to the urgent task of protecting sea-going vessels from storm and fog keeps Louie scrambling, especially when equipment breaks down. And even with visits from mainland friends, island living is lonely. An injured sea gull becomes an unexpected pet and a visiting preacher becomes a new fishing buddy. But Louie grieves for his father and misses his best friend Charlie. Then Louie receives wonderful news. Charlie plans to spend the month of August on Two Tree Island. August can't come quickly enough. But, Louie finds that Charlie has changed a lot. Suddenly Louie must face difficult choices, especially when Charlie's behavior endangers the operation of the lighthouse. "Manning the Light maintains family values and spiritual foundations that are important in my family's life today. As a homeschooling mom, I recommend this book as part of a literature based American history curriculum."
-Elizabeth Giles Griner
Louie, still tired from the long train ride the day before, rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He missed Pa. He pulled up his trousers. This time they reached only to below his knees. He must have grown six inches since he’d worn them at the funeral. Even then they were too short. Ma had told him they couldn’t afford to buy new ones. He would have to wear them until she could find a job.
A job. Ma never had to worry about a job before when his pa and grandpa were alive. They were a family then. Now they had to help each other, just the two of them.
“Can’t I wear my overalls, Ma?” he pleaded when she returned from the washroom. “These make me look stupid!”