Ten-year-old Allie, who is growing up during the Great Depression, is quite content living in a two-family home in New Haven, Connecticut. Her parents want more space, however, and one day her father announces major news: they are moving to a rented one-family home in Stamford. While this may seem like a positive development, Allie has reservations about leaving her best friend, Ruthie, and worries that she will have no friends and that she may not be accepted in her new school.
Swept off her feet by the magical name of her new street, Strawberry Hill, Allie's fears nearly vanish. She begins to acclimate to her new home, neighborhood and school, though she views Stamford as vastly different from New Haven. Faced with new challenges, Allie must sort out the true meaning of friendship. She grows to appreciate her family and comes to learn a few perplexing, though valuable, lessons on her journey toward self-discovery.
Teacher and author Mary Ann Hoberman has been writing books for children for more than 50 years, though Strawberry Hill marks her first foray into fiction. Currently serving as the Children’s Poet Laureate, Hoberman wrote the rhyming text in the picture book A House is A House for Me, which was a 1984 National Book Award winner. Distinct picture book offerings, such as One of Each and Seven Silly Eaters, as well as memorable poetry collections, such as The Llama Who Had no Pajama, have enlightened and entertained countless readers. Hoberman’s latest offering, Strawberry Hill, is a delightful and endearing autobiographical coming-of-age narrative.
Hoberman’s sweet look at the loss of innocence combined with the small steps we take toward maturity has a charm all its own. Join Allie on her trek to make Strawberry Hill feel like home.
Freelance writer Andrea Tarr is a librarian at Corona Public Library in California.