Skip to Main Content

Abbie Against the Storm

The True Story of a Young Heroine and a Lighthouse

Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth
Published by Beyond Words
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

The dramatic true story of a young heroine who operated a lighthouse during a terrible winter storm in her father's absence, saving countless lives out at sea.

When seventeen-year-old Abbie Burgess and her family move to Maine where her father will be caring for a lighthouse, she is immediately fascinated by the lights. Abbie becomes her father's assistant, and when he is forced to make an emergency trip to the mainland, Abbie alone knows how to keep the lighthouse tower lit. Soon after he leaves, a massive storm arises, surging over the island and flooding their house. Will Abbie be able to care for her sick mother and younger sisters and make sure that the lighthouse guides ships safely through the treacherous waters?

This fictionalized account of a young girl's triumph over a savage storm as well as her own fears, is based on an actual incident that took place in the winter of 1856. Gorgeously illustrated with powerful oil paintings, young Abbie will inspire readers to face all storms as bravely.

About The Authors

Photograph by Wyn Berry

When acclaimed author Marcia Vaughan was a young girl, she loved telling wild stories to her friends. As a graduate of Washington State University, she began her career as a librarian and was soon writing books herself. Now she is the author of over one hundred books for children, including the timeless 1986 treasure Wombat Stew, Three Bears of the Pacific Northwest, Kissing Coyotes, and Five Pesky Pumpkins. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Photograph by Wyn Berry

When Marcia Vaughan was a young girl, she loved telling wild stories to her friends. Now she is the author of more than eighty books for children published in the United States, Australia, Canada, and England. Her books have been honored as an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book and a Junior Library Guild Selection. Vaughan lives on Vashon Island, Washington with her son, Sam, and husband, Richard, who is also an author.

About The Illustrator

Bill Farnsworth is a nationally known illustrator, painter, and educator of art. Bill’s work as an illustrator is so widely known because he has illustrated more than seventy-five books for children, many of which have won awards as well as starred reviews in Publishers Weekly. His paintings and illustrations are recognizable for their beautiful colors, careful attention to various types of light, detailed rendering, and often for their outdoor themes and settings.

Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, Bill graduated from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and began his career in the field of art. He spent most of his life in New Milford, Connecticut, painting landscapes of the rural area, while supporting himself and family with his growing illustration career. He now lives in Venice, Florida.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beyond Words (December 1, 1999)
  • Length: 32 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781582700076
  • Grades: 1 - 5
  • Ages: 6 - 10

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

Vaughan's straightforward narrative conveys the danger of the storm as well as the heroine's bravery and stamina...Farnsworth's resplendent paintings of the turbulent seas heighten the drama and lend the tale immediacy.
Publisher's Weekly

Farnsworth's striking illustrations enhance the tale. With muted tones and misty texture, these lovely drawings add to the sense of urgency Abbie must have felt. The story itself is fascinating in depicting the initiative and courage of young Abbie.
Today's Librarian

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images