Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2009. STRAWBERRY HILL. Ill. by Wendy Anderson Halperin. New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316041362 [Suggested Grade Levels 3- 6]
Change can be difficult as well as a learning experience as ten-year-old Allie Sherman discovers. This book is set during the Great Depression, a hard time for our nation. Allie has to move with her family from New Haven to Stamford, CT, to be closer to her father’s new job. Leaving friends behind is difficult, and the thought of a new house and new school is unsettling. Add to that issues of racial and physical discrimination and Allie has a lot to ponder. Their new house is located on Strawberry Hill, but she is disappointed that it does not live up to her idealistic expectation of a magical place with strawberries all over the ground. The story continues with new friendships, childhood experiences and disillusionments tempered with understanding, and ends with the realization of strawberries on Strawberry Hill.
Hoberman realistically describes issues that everyone has to confront to some extent during their lifetime. She does it in a meaningful yet positive way, using details that bring the time period to life. This is a very enjoyable and compelling historical novel.
This novel is an excellent selection to read aloud or use for a literature circle or book club choice. It also lends itself to a study of the Great Depression, as well as a look at discrimination.
Other books set in the Great Depression:
de Young, C. Coco. A LETTER TO MRS. ROOSEVELT. ISBN 044041529
Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. THE VELVET ROOM. ISBN 0595321836
Swain, Gwenyth. CHIG AND THE SECOND SPREAD. ISBN 0385730659
By Kaye E. Bray