Strawberry Hill

( 7 )

Overview

When 10-year-old Allie learns that her family will be moving from a two-family home to their very own house, she's hesitant until she finds out they will be living on a street with the magical name of Strawberry Hill. That changes everything! But strawberries aren't the only things Allie will have to look for in her new neighborhood. As Allie struggles to find a new "best friend" and adjust to all of the changes she faces, she takes readers on her journey to make Strawberry Hill...
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Overview

When 10-year-old Allie learns that her family will be moving from a two-family home to their very own house, she's hesitant until she finds out they will be living on a street with the magical name of Strawberry Hill. That changes everything! But strawberries aren't the only things Allie will have to look for in her new neighborhood. As Allie struggles to find a new "best friend" and adjust to all of the changes she faces, she takes readers on her journey to make Strawberry Hill feel like home.

Strawberry Hill is a timeless story that will captivate readers, just as Mary Ann Hoberman's picture books and poems have for more than fifty years.

2009 Parents' Choice Gold Award winner

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
During most of her half-century writing career, Mary Ann Hoberman has awakened young minds with picture book poems about llamas in pajamas and non-praying praying mantises. Nimble, but quite unfrivolous, this Children's Poet Laureate authored the National Book Award–winning A House Is a House for Me as well as You Read to Me, I'll Read to You. Now she graces us with Strawberry Hill, her first novel. Like the woman who created her, ten-year-old protagonist Allie is enchanted by words. Her discovery that she and her family are moving to a rural locale known as Strawberry Hill lifts her anxiety and eases her transition to a new school and a new circle of friends.
From the Publisher
Praise for Strawberry Hill:
A New York Times Editor's Choice

* "Highly evocative... With story lines that are simple but never simplistic and perfectly crafted chapters in which the ordinary has the opportunity to become special." - Booklist (starred review)

"[Hoberman] knows how to bring detail and language into just the right balance...to pull you into the story." - New York Times

"Rich details bring the period to life...This is a gentle story with the sensibility of a novel written in an earlier time." - School Library Journal

"Allie's plight will be utterly relatable to contemporary readers and the resolution is both satisfying and realistic." - Publishers Weekly

Elizabeth Devereaux
Even if you didn't know that Mary Ann Hoberman is the current national children's poet laureate, with a shelf of distinguished picture books to her credit, you could tell from Strawberry Hill, her first novel, that you were in the hands of a seasoned writer. The restraint of her style is a tip-off that here is someone who knows how to bring detail and language into just the right balance to catch you up and pull you into the story…Hoberman maintains an exquisite balance between Allie's perspective and that of the adults around her, allowing for both a child's way of thinking and a polished narration.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In this old-fashioned coming-of-age story, set during the Great Depression, 10-year-old Allie's father finds a new job, and her family moves to a street called Strawberry Hill. Poet and first-time novelist Hoberman draws a full portrait of life on Strawberry Hill-where in fact there are no strawberries-as Allie agonizes over her conflicting feelings about the two other girls on her street: pretty, popular Martha, whom Allie wants as a best friend; and pudgy, sweet Mimi, who wants to be best friends with Allie. Circumstances of time and place are woven into the narrative, from details like the cost of popsicles to larger themes of poverty and prejudice. A number of Allie's friends' fathers are out of work, and Martha's best friend Cynthia calls Allie a "dirty Jew" at one point (Allie notes, "I wondered why I still wanted to be best friends with someone who still wanted to be best friends with someone like Cynthia"). Allie's plight will be utterly relatable to contemporary readers and the resolution is both satisfying and realistic. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5–When the Great Depression hits, 10-year-old Allie Sherman’s family moves from New Haven to Stamford, CT, where her father has found a job. Once there, she meets Martha, who attends the local parochial school and warns Allie about Mimi, the “crybaby” across the street whose father is a “bookie.” While Martha spends time with her friend Cynthia, Allie befriends Mimi. By the novel’s end Allie learns what makes a true friend when she realizes that friendship with Martha will always be limited since she is willing to accept Cynthia’s cheating and mean-spiritedness. Allie also comes to realize that people can change, even adults. The story comes full circle with a satisfying, generally plausible conclusion as summer is about to begin again. Rich details bring the period to life, from books shared to the nauseating Lucky Strike cigarettes smoked by adults. This is a gentle story with the sensibility of a novel written in an earlier time. Characters are well presented, and secondary figures have telling details. For example, Allie’s mother responds quickly and angrily when her child is called a “dirty Jew” by Martha’s friend, though it causes an argument with her husband. This can be read independently or shared as a read-aloud.–Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Ten-year-old Allie is beside herself when she learns that her family is moving far away from her best friend, Ruthie. When her family arrives at their new home, however, Allie begins to form new friendships immediately. There is Allie's favorite friend, the rich girl, Martha, who goes to Catholic school but plays with Allie in the afternoon. And then there is Mimi, who is Jewish like Allie, chubby and desperate for friendship; she attends Allie's school but has been held back in the third grade. Petty BFF politics take center stage as the three girls, along with a few peripheral characters, vacillate among loyalty, jealousy, friendship and rejection. Predictably and unrealistically, Mimi loses weight, improves her reading enough to get promoted to fourth grade with Allie's help and earns herself the overvalued title of Allie's official best friend. Minus the few passages and scenes that serve to establish the Great Depression-era setting, the story could have happened just about anywhere. Neither a great friendship saga nor a good choice for historical reading. (Historical fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316041355
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 698,543
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman is the author of more than thirty-five books for children, including the critically acclaimed A House Is a House for Me, which won a National Book Award, the New York Times bestselling You Read to Me, I'll Read to You, and the Sing-Along Stories series. Her website is www.maryannhoberman.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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(2)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    great coming-of-age story for girls

    Although this novel is set in the great depression, it is still very applicable in today's society. It is learning about friendship and how to treat others even if they are different than you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2009

    Anti-Catholic

    After purchasing this book in B&N on Tuesday I was horrified about the anti-Catholic sentiment that this author portrays to young readers. I read books for the most part first before passing them on or reading them to my children. As a Roman Catholic this is one of the worst betrayals and even more souring knowing that this is a children's book. I only made it to page 48 out of the 230 published pages. On page 23 & 24 the author has the main character, Jewish, meet a Catholic girl who are both 10. The anti-Catholicism starts there. By page 42 the Catholic girl is portrayed as a liar. On page 44, the story contiues with - ...Martha says nobody went to heaven except Catholics. When I asked my father..."Don't listen to all that hogwash", he said. "Jews go to heaven just like everyone else. We probably even go more because we're the chosen people. But we don't brag about it." On page 46 Martha (Catholic) tells Allie (Jewish) that a girl she was playing with smells and that she (Allie) shouldn't be playing with her.

    Two pages later I put the book down and will not read any more. I feel it extremely unneccesary to pinpoint the "bully" to be a Catholic and the Jewish girl to be a "victim". A similar story could be told in general, non-religous terms which this author has not done. This author is making her debut with this novel and it is horrific to think that this is an acceptable book to share with 3rd to 6th graders. The author has tarnished her new children's poet laureate named by the National Poetry Foundation. Shame on Ms Hoberman and shame on the publisher Little, Brown and Company for letting a book like this be in the hands of our youngsters.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful!

    It's the time of the Great Depression and Allie's father has been unemployed for a long time. When her father is offered a job and the family prepares to relocate from their two family home to their own house in the country, ten-year-old Allie does not want to go. She lives next to her best friend Ruthy Greenberg and Allie enjoyed the time she spent with the friendly Greenbergs' home. But when Allie hears that their new home will is called Strawberry Hill, she pictures a beautiful home surrounded by strawberry plants and begins to look forward to their new home.

    As Allie and her younger brother Danny explore their neighborhood, they are quick to make friends. Her next door neighbor Martha is her age, a hopscotch whiz, and quite friendly. But Martha's best friend, the wealthy banker's daughter Claire, is not half as likable. Allie is willing to put up with Claire to spend time with her favorite new friend Martha. Nine-year-old Mimi lives next door also befriends Allie, but Martha and Claire find Mimi strange and look down on her with the cruelty that comes easily to ten-year-old girls. But Allie feels bad for Mimi - she isn't as bad as Martha says. When Danny and Mimi hit it off, Allie finds that she enjoy spending time with Mimi. As Allie makes her way through the challenges of Strawberry Hill, she finds her true friends.

    When I first started Strawberry Hill, I had to put it down. I started to feel uncomfortable once it was clear that Martha made fun of Mimi and Allie was willing to avoid Mimi to stay on Martha's good side. I just didn't want to read about the bullying that goes on among young girls. But it was good that I came back to the book because it's much more than bullying - the is about standing up for yourself and sticking by your friends. It's heartwarming and I recommend it highly.

    Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (July 1, 2009), 240 pages.
    Courtesy of the publisher.

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    Posted August 15, 2009

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    Posted August 22, 2009

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    Posted April 18, 2010

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    Posted October 18, 2009

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