Strawberry Hill Book Review

Strawberry Hill is a new book for kids by Mary Ann Hoberman. Here at Kidzworld we get a lot of messages from kids asking how they can make new friends. Well, even though it’s a novel (meaning it’s fictional or not a true story), this book just may help in the friends department.

The Author

Before we get into the story of Strawberry Hill, we think it’s important for you to know that the author of this book, Mary Ann Hoberman, is a pretty famous poet. In fact, her official title is Children’s Poet Laureate – which is like the official kids poet of a whole country!

The Story

During the Depression, 10-year-old Allie moves with her family when her father finds a new job. She knows she is lucky that he has a job, and they are moving from an apartment into a much bigger house, but she will still miss her old friends. The only saving grace is the name of her new street, Strawberry Hill, where she envisions white picket fences, stone walls and strawberries growing in fields.

Unfortunately, the first thing Allie discovers is that there aren't any strawberries. On the upside, she meets her neighbor Martha before the van is even unpacked, and her room has been painted pink as a special surprise for her. Not only is Martha Allie's age and fun to play with, across the street is another girl her age, Mimi.

Here is where the conflict of the story comes in, because Martha doesn't "like" Mimi and doesn't play with her. Allie, on a quest to find one true best friend, questions Martha's feelings as Cynthia, Martha's best friend, returns from her summer vacation and begins to control the power structure of the little group.

As the school year begins, Allie meets other girls, finds out a boy "likes" her, and discovers how the Depression has affected the families around her. In her journey to find a best friend, Allie learns about loyalty and respect.

Strawberry Hill is a great story for girls about a different era where imagination drove children's play instead of electronics, and most of their play was physical and outside. And the friendship conflicts and questions will help readers.

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