I would recommend that kids below age 12 read this with an adult for clarification of the language and wording and in order to understand the background of some of the events. It is a wonderful, heart-wrenching story, but I think that based on my time in the 5th and 6th grade classroom, many 9 year-olds would struggle with it.
This is a great book to use in the classroom (maybe as a read-aloud) to introduce children to the concepts of racism and discrimination. It could lead to many positive discussions of how people are treated vs. how they should be treated.
When Turner and his parents move Phippsburg, Maine Turner find life dull and stifling until he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a young African American girl from a nearby island. The two young children form a close bond despite Turner's fathers disapproval. The elders at Turner's fathers church decide that if they want to bring tourists in they would have to remove people on Malaga Island which is where Lizzie lives with her family.
This story paints of picture of racism in the early 20th century. It is a touching story but sad at the same time. It shows how young people can grown and mature drastically in front of a reader's eyes.