BN.com Gift Guide

Taste of Blackberries

( 30 )

Overview

What do you do without your best friend?

Jamie isn't afraid of anything. Always ready to get into trouble, then right back out of it, he's a fun and exasperating best friend.

But when something terrible happens to Jamie, his best friend has to face the tragedy alone. Without Jamie, there are so many impossible questions to answer — how can your best friend be gone forever? How can some things, like playing ...

See more details below
Paperback (Revised)
$5.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (74) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $2.63   
  • Used (61) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

What do you do without your best friend?

Jamie isn't afraid of anything. Always ready to get into trouble, then right back out of it, he's a fun and exasperating best friend.

But when something terrible happens to Jamie, his best friend has to face the tragedy alone. Without Jamie, there are so many impossible questions to answer — how can your best friend be gone forever? How can some things, like playing games in the sun or the taste of the blackberries that Jamie loved, go on without him?

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064402385
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Series: A Trophy Bk.
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 264,095
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Doris Buchanan Smith is mother to five school-age children, four of her own and one for whom she and her husband are permanent guardians. The Smiths have also been parents to more than twenty-two foster children. Her experiences have given her exceptional insight into the problems of being young as well as those of growing up. Now that her children are in school Mrs. Smith spends a minimum of three hours a day writing. She also likes animals and the woods, and is interested in nature and conservation. A Taste Of Blackberries is her first book.

Mike Wimmer is the illustrator of a number of highly acclaimed picture books, including All the Places to Love, written by Patricia MacLachlan, and Train Song, written by Diane Siebert. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Jamie and I snagged our way into the thicket of the blackberry patch. I picked a dark berry and popped it into my mouth. The insides of my cheeks puckered.

"They need a few more days to ripen," I said.

Jamie had got stuck and had his thumb in his mouth. He took it out with a smacking sound and put his "shh" finger to his lips. Someone was coming.

"I'll bet Jamie and them will be sorry they didn't come," a voice said. I was "and them."

Jamie and I made faces at one another and pressed our lips together to keep quiet.

"Maybe they knew the berries weren't ripe," another voice said.

Jamie nodded. I almost laughed out loud.

"Well, that's what Jamie will say anyway." The voices began to fade. "He thinks he knows everything."

Jamie nodded again. He clasped his arms to himself, shaking in silent laughter.

"I've got to get out of here," he whispered. He started charging his way out of the brambles. The stickers snatched at him every which-a-way. When he cleared the patch he fell down and rolled.

Jamie couldn't laugh without falling down in exaggeration. But he did have more sense than to fall in the middle of a blackberry patch.

I sat down cross-legged and watched. I could see the tops of the kids' heads as they went down the hill. It was funny, that we'd been right there, hidden, and heard them talking about us.But it wasn't worth having a fit over.

That Jamie. For my best friend he surely did aggravate me sometimes. I mean, if we got to pretend ing -- circus dogs, for instance -- he didn't know when to quit. You could get tired and want to do something else but that stupid Jamiewould crawl around barking all afternoon. Sometimes it was funny. Sometimes it was just plain tiresome.

Jamie sat up, finally, and wiped the tears that had squeezed out from the corners of his eyes.

"Race you to the creek," he said. He hopped up and tore down the dirt road behind the houses. He had sneaked a head start on me and I really had to dig in to catch up with him.

If we started even I could always beat him. And, since he beat me in most things, I wasn't giving him an inch if I could help it. I urged my legs into long strides and pumped my arms by my sides. I pulled ahead of him just as we reached the creek.

"Oh, you!" he scowled teasingly. He grabbed the side of my head and pulled me toward him, curved his leg around behind mine, then pushed.

As I went down I clutched his shirt and pulled him with me. We rolled around in the dirt until I said, "I give up."

Jamie would never quit but I got tired after a while. I had seen Jamie fight with bigger boys, Even if he was getting beat he wouldn't give up. If they let him go he piled back into them, asking for more.

We rock-hopped the creek and sat down on the other side where there was a fence to lean on.

Jamie's face was crimson. Dirt made streaks where it had stuck to the sweat.

"Is my face," I puffed, "as red as yours?"

He passed his hand across his face as though he could feel how red it was. He whooshed out his breath and leaned over the creek to splash his face.

"Brrr," he shivered. "That water must be about thirtythree degrees!"

I stuck my finger in the water to remind myself how cold it was. When we waded it was a challenge to see who could stand it longer. The water cooled the air around and the trees held the coolness under a green umbrella of leaves. You could even smell the cool.

Jamie finished splashing and nodded toward the other side of the fence.

"How about an apple?"

"Oh, no. Thank you," I said.

The fence guarded a farm which the city had surrounded. The farm was said to be guarded, also, by a farmer with a shotgun. Older boys made a game of snitching apples.

"Aw, come on," Jamie urged.

"Not me." I wrinkled my face and shook my head.

"Yeah," Jamie said scornfully. "You're afraid of him just like you're afraid of Mrs. Houser."

Mrs. Houser was Jamie's next door neighbor, my across-the-street neighbor. Honestly, we tried to stay out of her yard. But if you accidentally stepped one foot inside her boundary line she shouted out her window. She seemed to be always looking out her window to see if anyone touched a blade of her precious grass.

"I don't think he would shoot a boy over an apple," Jamie said. "Come on, chicken." He started over the fence.

"Cluck, cluck, cluck," I said, trying not to let myself feel dared. "Chicken and proud of it." I grinned at Jamie, trying to joke him out of his idea.

Jamie up-and-overed the fence and started across the field. My eyes skimmed the field until they bumped into the house. I thought I saw a movement at the door.

"Jamie, come back," I screamed.

Jamie kept going and never stopped. He reached the tree, shinnied up, grabbed a couple of apples, jumped down and started back.

The man had come out onto his porch. I fancied I saw a shotgun cradled in his arms. It was too far away for me to be sure. I ducked.

What would I do if Jamie got shot? Should I climb the fence and help him? How could I get him back over the fence? Maybe I should run for help instead.

I squeezed my eyes closed, waiting for the blast. Next thing I knew I was in the field myself, racing toward Jamie. He pushed an apple into my hand and we made tracks back to the creek. Two boys never cleared a fence so fast.

We skittered down the bank so we would be out of sight of the house.

"Did you see him?" I asked. My heart was beating paradiddles.

A Taste of Blackberries. Copyright © by Doris Buchanan Smith. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 14, 2013

    I remember reading this book in the third grade and nearly 20 ye

    I remember reading this book in the third grade and nearly 20 years later, I still get choked up thinking of this story. It must have been very well written to have left such an impression on me! I'd like to read this book again as I plan on introducing it to my own children someday. Highly recommend for third - sixth grade children. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This excellent book by Doris Buchanan Smith is approaching its 4

    This excellent book by Doris Buchanan Smith is approaching its 40th anniversary - and a million copies sold! Have you read A Taste of Blackberries? I'm the author's son, Randy, and having read it many times over, I can promise it is as fresh and relevant today as it was forty years ago. But not everyone responds the same way to this insightful book! As mom would say, "it's a free country." The subject is weighty for some young readers, and parents and teachers are cautioned to read the book before giving it to your child. That said, you need look no further for a rich and unforgettable reading experience. Howard Randall Smith

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2012

    A Taste of Blackberries

    A Taste of Blackberries

    I think this book was great, it is also a fiction story but the story is like a real life story. This was a great book because it's telling how sad if your best friend died. This book followed the step of when someone died like anger. I think more 4th grader has to read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2009

    A Taste of Blacberries

    I'm in fourth grade and read this book with my third grade teacher. It's sad but it teaches you a lesson about friendship. One of my friends cried really hard when Jamie died. I wish Jamie hadn't died, I wish he had lived. Bees can really sometimes annoy me. I'm not a honey eater.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    Taste of Blackberries

    I was a little girl when I read this book. Actually I was recovering from a bad elbow break and couldnt do anything but read(which I still love to do). I just want to thank the author for making that period in time for me better and I recommend it to children of all ages. Both my children have read it and some of my friends children too... GREAT BOOK!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Acclaim for A Taste of Blackberries

    I read A Taste of Blackberries when I was in fourth grade. I am now thirty nine years old, and I teach high school English. Blackberries is so poignantly written concerning the death of a young friend that it serves as a comfort for the child, a jumping point to dicuss a personal tragedy with your children and a texbook example of just how to deal with life and death experiences with youth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    Taste of Blackberries

    This book is good for all ages. I'm in 6th grade and I loved it. Jamie is the main character and he is a joker. He loves to trick his friends. He does a lot of things that you would never dream of doing: he hitchhikes rides, stels things, and a lot more dangeres things. I think the Taste of Blackbarries is a great book. You will have to read The Taste of Blackbarries to find out more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    breathtaking

    I think it was a good book. It was good because it shows how good of friends they were. And what they did together. It was sad because his best friend, name Jamie,died. It was also a good book because the author gave a lot of detail I liked what they did before Jamie died. Jamie's friend did not let Jamie go. That is why I recommend A Taste of Blackberries.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    touching

    The Taste of Blackberries book is good because it reminds me of the real world where no one lives for ever and reality can be cruel somtimes and its no fun to be alone .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    Taste of Blackberries

    I think that the book is a great one. It will make you seem like you are in the book. I'm in 6th grade and I loved it. It's one that will make all ages connect, understand, and love the book of Taste of Blackberries. That's why I recommend the Taste of Blackberries.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    Touching

    This book is about a boy who comes to grips with the tragedy of losing his best friend. This is a very touching book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2004

    Timeless!

    I read this when I was a small child,I am 41 yrs old and think about this book often. It is a timeless book that children will love and also has a lesson in it. It may be a good book for children to read that has had a friend die. I am going to be getting this book for my daughter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2004

    Very good

    I read this book as a class assigment in fifth grade and at the time didn't like it. I recently loss someone I loved and this book gives such great insight into what it's like and how to cope.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2004

    this book is cooly

    i'min 5th grade and just finished it and i thought it was a touching story

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2004

    I still remember...

    I too read this book over twenty years ago and now I have the joy of experiencing it with my daughter as she reads it for the first time. It provides a valuable lesson for readers of any age.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2003

    Touching Story For All Ages

    What a fabulous tale, as sweet as blackberries! I read this book more than twenty years ago, and the lessons still ring true. Now I want to pass it on to my nieces and nephews. Congratulations Doris Buchanan Smith

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2003

    Taste of Blackberries

    I read this book in Elementary school and I never forgot it. I am 37 years old! My little boy is about to read it for the first time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2003

    Taste of Blackberries

    I read this book in elementary school and I am 37 years old and still remember it.My little boy is about to read it for the first time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2002

    i like it because....

    This is good.Because it tells about real life i recamand this book to everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2000

    The Taste of Blackberries

    I read a book called A Taste of Blackberries By Doris Buchaman Smith. It is about two boy Jamie and his friend.It is in a county town. Something bad happpened. I realized I'm not the only one my age that cries

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)