Kirkus Reviews QR Code
STRAWBERRY HILL by Mary Ann Hoberman


by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-316-04136-2
Publisher: Little, Brown

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 Depression–era 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)