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Strawberry Hill

by Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin


The life of a ten-year-old Jewish girl during the Depression years could get very complicated. Allie has conflicted feelings about moving away from her school and her friends, but the name of the street where they will be living is Strawberry Hill, and that sounds exciting.  When they arrive at the new home, Allie can't find a single strawberry, but Martha, the girl next door, is friendly, and the farm at the end of the street intriguing.

The very real problems that Allie must confront are the anti-Semitic attitude of Martha's other best friend, and Martha's jealousy when Allie also bonds with Mimi, the girl across the street.  The difficulties of life during the Great Depression must also be dealt with by the people she knows...unemployment, financial problems, and split families.

Allie's struggle for acceptance at her new school is presented realistically.  Mary Ann Hoberman has written more than 40 books for children, and is best known for her poetry, but she has penned a winner in Strawberry Hill, her first novel.  It has wonderful characters and a fast moving plot to hold the interest of mid-grade students, or as a great read-aloud story for younger kids with some interesting topics for family conversations. The black and white illustrations by Wendy Anderson Halperin add a terrific visual dimension to the story.

The Book

Little, Brown Young Readers
July 1, 2009
0-316-04136-X / 978-0-316-04136-2
Fiction / Tweener
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Beverly J. Rowe is's "Babes to Teens" columnist, covering topics related to reading ideas for the youth in the family.
© 2009