Strawberry Hill
Story by: Mary Ann Hoberman

Illustrations by: Wendy Anderson Halperin


When the Great Depression hits, 10-year-old Allie Sherman's 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 novel's 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 Cynthia's 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, Allie's mother responds quickly and angrily when her child is called a dirty Jew by Martha's friend, though it causes an argument with her husband.




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