❰Reading❯ ➸ Strawberry Girl Author Lois Lenski – Dolove.info
Strawberry Girl was the first novel I read by children s book author and illustrator Lois Lenski October 14, 1893 September 11, 1974 I read the book in the fifth grade in secret, because with its pink cover, not to mention title, was girly At the time, I was in the process of reading books that had the Newbery Award, regardless of content There were some duds in that bunch For instance, I could not get into Dr Doolittle by Hugh Lofting, due to the archaic language and the fact that there was a stereotypical black character.Strawberry Girl s synopsis sounded girly, too According to the back cover blurb, Birdie Boyer is a plucky ten year old heroine in turn of the century Florida who oversees a crop of strawberries in the hopes of winning some Four H styled prize The actual story is somewhat darker It s about a Hatfield vs McCoyesque feud between the Boyer s neighbors, who are in reality, squatters The father, in particular, is a drunken lout with rage issues The mother is not much better The Boyers, by contrast, are one class above them, and while not educated, per se, have strong bourgeois values and a Puritan work ethic The neighbors don t resort to violence Instead, they use criminal mischief, such as ignoring property boundaries and destroying crops The neighbor s son is the lone good egg in the family, and with the help of Birdie, tames his wild streak The families enter into an uneasy truce, thanks to the friendship between the two kids The story is accompanied by the author s stark, black and white illustrations that have the austere quality of folk art.I ended up reading other Lenski books that year Her regional series followed the lives of children in various US locales Most of the scenarios dealt with poverty in some form or another Appalachia is explored in Blue Ridge Billy Judy s Journey is about migrant workers She even dealt with racism in a book that I only heard about, entitled Mama Hattie s Girl, which features an all African American or in the parlance of the time, Negro cast Yet another novel is set in San Francisco s Chinatown Lenski was prolific, writing and illustrating many picture books, historical novels and even songbooks Her focus on poverty and effects on children make her a kind of children s lit version of John Steinbeck.Much of her work is out of print This past summer, I volunteered for my local library MLK Public Library here in DC , and I had the pleasure of working with the Rare Children s Book Collection Many Lenski works are housed in there.It s a shame thatof her stuff isn t in print Her focus on the vulnerable left an impresseion my young mind, and made me empathetic and curious about the lives of others. Here s a great way to keep history alive for middle schoolers Lois Lenski wrote about ordinary country children, usually in agricultural occupations Her STRAWBERRY GIRL lives in Florida and has to contend with rival families struggling to bring in the seasonal strawberry crop While the time ca 1940 has now gone by, this is such a worthwhile document of Florida history that it is still in print and widely read in the Sunshine State Perhaps your kids will enjoy it too Lois Lenski wrote a huge series of children s books that were set in different sections of the U.S As a youngster, I was never able to relate to this Newbery Medal winner as much as I did to her Cotton in My Sack, because it is set in Florida rather than Arkansas, and in my youth I spent much, muchtime in cotton patches than in strawberry fields. I should have beensecurely fastened in my chair when I finished this book what a catapulting shock of an ending Christians, you ll LOVE IT I m not sure how this book got missed in my childhood, but it s a sad occurrence for sure The ending entirely made the book, and it s one that every Christian will applaud and cheer So you re probably scratching your head like me, wondering just how this book won a Newbery Medal I don t know But here s what the story is aboutA farming family moves to Florida in the hopes of doing better for themselves with a new plot of land andopportunity But will their neighbors allow it Full of oneriness and spite, and a drunken father that eggs his children on, the neighbors are not the nice, friendly sort by any means The family experiences one set back after another from the very people that live next to them Will they be able to endure You ll just have to read the book to see how it could possibly end with a shock Ages 6 12Cleanliness Law me shucks and Lawzy are said There is a scene with various people dancing There is a drunk in the story who is changed Two boys beat up the school teacher he was so badly beaten that school is closed indefinitely A girl gets so bad at a boy that threw a snake at her that she hates everything about him she forgives him later Like my reviews I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too These reports give a complete break down of everything in the book, so you ll know just how clean it is or isn t I also have Clean Guides downloadable PDFs which enable you to clean up your book before reading it Visit my website The Land Was Theirs, But So Were Its HardshipsStrawberries Big, Ripe, And Juicy Ten Year Old Birdie Boyer Can Hardly Wait To Start Picking Them But Her Family Has Just Moved To The Florida Backwoods, And They Haven T Even Begun Their Planting Don T Count Your Biddies Fore They Re Hatched, Gal Young Un Her Father Tells HerMaking The New Farm Prosper Is Not Easy There Is Heat To Suffer Through, And Droughts, And Cold Snaps And, Perhaps Most Worrisome Of All For The Boyers, There Are Rowdy Neighbors, Just Itching To Start A Feud I m basing this rating on how much I enjoyed it when I read it almost 30 years ago in fourth grade I remember loving Lois Lenski and the illustrations are wonderful My friend and I were both reading this at the same time I was flying through it and she was plodding and then overnight to my shock and horror she finished the whole thing while I was waiting up for her Never forgot that. I really enjoyed this book Not only are the characters well drawn, and the illustrations quaint, but I learned a piece of Florida s history something I knew nothing about prior to reading Strawberry Girl. Strawberry Girl, the 1946 Newberry winner, shares a slice of reality from early 1900s Florida with main character, Birdie, that kids and adults alike will find charming I personally learned a lot about the regional speech, mannerisms traditions that I never would ve known The lives of today s youth and even my own are so vastly different from the times in this book It really makes you think The characters endured so much, but the conflict resolution is a happy one Lois Lenski s SHOO FLY GIRL was a favorite of mine in my youth and I wasn t disappointed in this one I want to try BAYOU SUZETTE next The quaint pencil drawings are so cute and a little something extra to her books Ok, yes, I see that the other Slaters were ready to become civilized But their Pa s conversion, apparently by that hungry traveling preacher, as totally out of the blue This book is very much an earnest exhortation to hard work, clean living, and kindliness Upon this reread, at this time of my life, it was almost nauseating.I kept thinking, too, of the anthropological fallacy that Lenski succumbed to It s clear that she can t but help think of herself as someone studying the natives, trying to understand them well enough to improve them Kindly meant, but unwelcome and foolish Vine Deloria Jr., in Custer Died for Your Sins An Indian Manifesto and others points out that people are very likely to lie to, and play tricks on, and keep secrets from, outsiders, especially the tactless and disrespectful I just don t know how much of Lenski s portrait of Crackers is authentic Consider map is kinda sorta funny, too So much wilderness has been lost in Florida in such a short time.The time of this is still unclear, too Here s a bit about the history of planting strawberries in Galloway So, that supports the author s claim of sometime in the early 20th century Perhaps studying the history of cattle ranching would giveprecision when did the open range give way to the fences There s this which includes a photo of First barbed wire fencing in Osceola County Kissimmee, Florida c 1910. I like to think I ve been reasonably successful in making readers out of my kids, though none of them loves it as much as I do However, I haven t been terribly successful in passing on love of particular books Strawberry Girl, along with Lois Lenski s other books about girls from various parts of the US, is one of those I loved but could never convince my older daughter to read When NetGalley offered this one, I jumped at the chance to re live part of my childhood though I must admit that my library has a large, though old set of Lenski s books Strawberry Girl is set in the early 1900 s in Florida when it was still a rural swamp The main conflict is between a new family in town, a family that puts up fences and gardens and engages in agriculture as business, and a family that has been in town for a long time, orprecisely, the alcoholic father of that family, who is used to allowing his cattle and pigs to graze free and resents the fences the new people erect This book, along with the others in the series, spotlights the differences in people s lives in various parts of the country prior to the homogenization wrought by television and big box retailers Birdie and her family are Crackers and we learn the origin of the term She attends a one room school and goes barefoot most of the time The dialogue in the book shows her dialect They farm strawberries and oranges and drink milk from their own cow Girls wear dresses made from flour sacks and get hats at the milliner Any book that can still be found in libraries this many years after it was published has to appeal to someone besides just me, and it certainly appeals to me It is a children s book a quick Google search shows grade levels between 3 and 6 I give it an A.