Strawberry Hill
Strawberry Hill
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Annotation: Ten-year-old Allie's family moves from urban New Haven to rural Stamford, Connecticut, in the midst of the Great Depression.
Catalog Number: #36342
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2010
Illustrator: Halperin, Wendy Anderson,
Pages: 230 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-04135-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-24730-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-04135-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-24730-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008045300
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Hoberman's Depression-era story tells of Allie and her family's adjustment to their new life on Strawberry Hill. For Allie, who's Jewish, finding a new best friend in this more diverse neighborhood is a challenge; choosing between a popular girl and a social outcast proves harder than she'd expected. Well-shaded black-and-white illustrations evocative of the time period illustrate the story.
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 Depressionera 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)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5 When the Great Depression hits, 10-year-old Allie Shermans 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 novels 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 Cynthias 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, Allies mother responds quickly and angrily when her child is called a dirty Jew by Marthas 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
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* After someone has written for 50 years and won a National Book Award, it is hard to think of her as a debut novelist. Along with the You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series, Hoberman is well known for her poetry (and was recently named Children's Poet Laureate). This is, however, Hoberman's first work of fiction. Set during the Depression, the result is a small yet highly evocative story that shows that while details may differ, issues of childhood remain the same. Ten-year-old Allie is not pleased that her family is moving, but when she learns that her new street is named Strawberry Hill, it stirs something inside her. Alas, there are no strawberries, but Allie does find friendships and hardships and her first brush with anti-Semitism when a girl calls her a "dirty Jew." One of the best things about this is Allie's narrative style. Written in first-person, it nonetheless seems a bit removed, giving readers space to make up their own minds about events. For instance, Allie's incensed mother makes a scene about the invective, while her father wants to shrug it off (though he tells Allie she should inform her tormentor that Jesus was a Jew). Who is right? With story lines that are simple but never simplistic and perfectly crafted chapters in which the ordinary has the opportunity to become special, this is reminiscent of books by Elizabeth Enright and Sydney Taylor. To be illustrated.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (Mon Jun 01 00:00:00 CDT 2009)
ALA Booklist (Mon Jun 01 00:00:00 CDT 2009)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Thu Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2010)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (Wed Jul 01 00:00:00 CDT 2009)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 38,565
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 131209 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.4 / points:10.0 / quiz:Q47396
Lexile: 610L
Guided Reading Level: R
Fountas & Pinnell: R

When 10-year-old Allie learns that her family will be moving from a two-family home to their very own house, she<ST1:PERSONNAME u1:st="on">'</ST1:PERSONNAME>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.

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