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Strawberry Girl (American Regional)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  8,065 ratings  ·  322 reviews
The land was theirs, but so were its hardships

Strawberries -- 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 her.

Making the new farm p
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Paperback, 60th Anniversary Edition, 208 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1945)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
413th out of 3,190 books — 6,079 voters
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George SpeareThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Best Children's Historical Fiction
75th out of 501 books — 569 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Craig
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 ther ...more
Ann Carpenter
This book almost rated four stars, but the highly improbably ending left a sour note in my mouth. I did not believe for a moment that a single kindness (even a long and sustained kindness) could so totally change the character of Mr. Slater. I could sort of see him being nice to the Boyers from now on, but his entire personality has changed. When he's talking about the death of his livlihood and entire way of life, it says that previously he'd have been in a rage, but now he was gentle as milk. ...more
Lisa
This was a surprising read for me. I didn't know that Lois Lenski has an "American Regional Series" set in various parts of the US, highlighting childhood in such parts. Strawberry Girl is set in the pioneer days of Florida and seen through the eyes of young Birdie Boyer whose family settles in the backwoods. In a way, this book shows signs of age but it is so well told that I believe it would make a great read-aloud as long as the reader is committed to reading the dialogue in the backwoods dia ...more
Maggie
Jan 29, 2012 Maggie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Maggie by: Ruthie Hisaw
When we were done reading this book me and Meredith both agreed that we the book's title should of been " How to Have a Bad Fight with your Neighbors"!
Ruth
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 ...more
Jen
Charming in the order of Caddie Woodlawn or Thimble Summer. Birdie and the other characters are as complex as can be expected. I enjoyed Lenski's description of the setting. As I've never been to that part of Florida, I appreciated "hearing" their speech and "seeing" their homes. In the foreward, Lenski mentions having visited Florida and spending time with the people she would write about. It seems she wanted to write stories set in a variety of communities in the States, so that Americans coul ...more
Kirei
When I was seven, my mom bribed me to read a Lois Lenski book, a moving story about a migrant farm family. All these years, I have remembered that book as "Strawberry Girl", but I realize now it was a different book. I checked various Lenski books and it must have been "Judy's Journey." (And judging by reviews, it appears that people seem to like "Judy's Journey" better than "Strawberry Girl.")

Anyway, we did "Strawberry Girl" as a read-aloud. I thought I would hate the dialect, but I rather like
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Katie
1946 Newberry winner about the Boyer family, who move from the Carolinas to rural Florida and buy a farm. They immediately begin to feud with their neighbors, the Slaters, a poor, rural family with a drunken, domineering father and rowdy, disrespectful children. The Slaters run their cattle and hogs over the Boyer property, destroying strawberry plants and the orange grove. Mr. Boyer retaliates by killing some hogs, and the feud continues. Of course everything works out in the end. I liked the d ...more
Marfita
Backwoods Florida sounds to be as rough and tumble as the wild west. They had the same problems with ranging cattle ... and what about those "biggety" folk who come from the North (that is, "Caroliny") with their annoying habits, such as attending school, actually feeding their livestock, planting crops, painting their houses, putting up fences to keep the friendly neighborhood livestock from destroying their crops, and going to church.
I don't want to give anything away, but I would have prefer
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Vicki
Wow -- such a strange book. I'm trying to read all of the Newbery winners, and definitely the honor books, just because I'd like to get a feel for the history of it. Not having a context for a lot of the early winners, nor for Lenski, I just kind of found this to be fascinating. Mostly because I had no idea where she was going with it. When religion enters the picture later, I felt a little weirded out, but I guess that was the best case scenario of what could have happened. It was so unpredicta ...more
Wendy
This is an entertaining and fast-moving book, though I definitely don't think it's Lenski's best--the resolution is particularly unsatisfying, and the character depth isn't great. (JUDY'S JOURNEY is much better.) The main thing I note about this is that the subject matter is truly shocking--those who think the Newbery has gone too far in the last few years, rewarding books that talk about the harshness of life, should take note. In comparison, THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY is tame. (Well, it's alrea ...more
Dahlene
This was a children's Newbery winner. I love to read Newberys in the summer to my boys. I chose this one for myself because I was afraid it would be too girly for my boys. I picked Onion John for them and we are enjoying it too. This book was not too girly for boys. It was a cute story of a family in Southern Florida trying to make a living growing strawberries. The neighbors aren't too neighborly and try everything to get them to move back to "Caroliny". I love the language of this book. They s ...more
Amy
I enjoyed the story of Birdie and her family, farmers in Florida. The tension with the neighbors because of the fences was well done. I knew that had happened in the west, but didn't realize it took place in Florida as well.

I thought the characters of Birdie and Shoestring were fairly well drawn. Some of the other characters, like Shoestring's brothers and father, were rather one-dimensional. I appreciated the dilemma that Shoestring's mother faced, trying (sort of) to keep good relationships w
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Shiloah
Such a wonderful story. I read this with Makenzie so we could discuss it together. Defintely a classic.
Debra
I'm only giving this a 3 because of the portrayal of the hardships Cracker families encountered on a day-to-day basis, otherwise it was just okay. The morality tale doesn't work for me... stop drinking, find God, suddenly become a great neighbor after years of abusing the family and neighbors. It just doesn't work like that in real life. The "good" kids were far too Polyanna for me; loving the hard labor. Young girls back in the day probably loved the story of the Strawberry Girl, but I don't th ...more
Kathi
This book is an example of an older Newbery that has not aged particularly well, but still offers very interesting glimpses of our American past.

Lois Lenski, prolific author of children’s books, wrote one large group of books about how children typically lived in different regions in the United States in the 1930s and 1940’s.

Strawberry Girl’s setting is Florida. It’s hard to believe that the rural dramas and the hard, hard lives depicted might have occurred where Disney World exists now! That fa
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Georgene
I read this book to follow up on Cross Creek, the memoir written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who wrote about living in old Florida in the 1930s. This story takes place around the 1900s. Birdie Boyer, who is the main character in this book, seems like a nice girl, as was her mother, but the men, including Birdie's father, are not so nice. The Boyers have just moved to backwoods Florida and want to start a strawberry farm, but their nearest neighbors, the Slaters, let their cattle roam freely and ...more
Caitlin
This is a case of wishing GoodReads had a half star system, as I would give this a solid 2.5. Overall, I deeply appreciate what Lenski has done. She lived with strawberry farmers in the far reaches of Florida for two winters in the 1940s to chronicle their daily lives. It is a anthropological wonder in that way. As a children's book, however, I had my reservations.

The story is about a long standing (sometimes violent) feud between two neighbors. That combined with the dialect, make it a bit too
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Carissa
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski is a Newbery Medal winner for 1946. I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books countless times as a child, fascinated by the regional details of the author's writing. Lenski writes in a similar fashion, making sure that the readers understand what it's like to live in Florida during the early 1900s.

The Boyer family has just picked up its roots from Marion County, Florida and moved to the moister part of the state with lake water nearby. Their goal is to start a strawber
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Trinette
Just a pure memory of childhood is all I can say about this book.
Simple, strawberry scented reminders of the days of Little House on the Prairie, The Black Stallion and Charlottes Web.
If only I could go back.
Benji Martin
There were some aspects of this book I really liked: the family feuding, the cheerful resolution at the end. There were some aspects I didn't like: the terrible illustrations (none of the characters seemed to be able to open or close their hands in the drawings) and some of the scenes were especially stereotypical and contrived, like the boys throwing their school books on the ground and yelling "WE DON"T NEED NARY BOOK LURNIN," They did make the scene original though at the end by beating up th ...more
Debbie
Dec 30, 2013 Debbie added it
63 1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Lippincott)

This story takes place in the early 1900's in Florida. At the time, Florida was still the frontier and life was very different from today. According to the preface, all the incidents in the story were based on true stories - some of which had to be softened for the book.

Spoilers included: Strawberry Girl is primarily the story of two families - the Slaters and the Boyers - think the Hatfields and the McCoys. The Slaters are dirt poor much of wh
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Karen
I read this aloud to my grandchildren, having never read it as a child. It's about a backwoods farming family in southern Florida a century ago. They have problems with their neighbors, and I worried about reading some of their responses to the problems to my grandkids! At one point, the man spanks his neighbor's child for not taking care of his cow! Sure wouldn't happen in today's world. It's a Newbery Medal winner. In the end, the 'bad neighbor' repents and changes his ways, so that's a good l ...more
Sarah
I really tried to like this but it just bored me.
Dan
We've had this book sitting around our house for quite a while. Sadly, with the pink cover and "girl" in the title, I hadn't been jumping at the opportunity to read it. I should have picked it up sooner.

I was intrigued by the plot. A new family moves in, only to find that their neighbors are determined to make sure they don't overstep their rights by doing things like fencing off their yard. After all, how would they get their cattle to the best watering and grazing spots if it's all fenced in?

I
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Rachel
I shared this as a read aloud with my 9 year old girls. We all enjoyed the "Piney Woods" dialect and the general exploration of Floridian life in the backwoods. I loved the fierce and fiery spunk of Birdie Boyer and her families desires and efforts to be progressive and neighborly, most of the time, but I did not appreciate the intensity of the rivalry with the Slater's in a children's book.

I understand the need for conflict in a plot. I understand the need to educate children about the pitfall
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Antof9
I continue to be confused by what the Newbery committee is/was thinking and what they consider a level of appropriateness for children. I'm also surprised at what this author thought appropriate for children. I'm really of two minds on this, after reading about the author and this series. On the one hand, I love the idea of writing stories about different parts of the country so children could learn about them. On the other hand, there's all kinds of DRUNK in this book, and I'm just picturing a ...more
Cheryl
I was not particularly enamored with this novel and think that there are better Lois Lenski books than this one. I am rather intrigued that it won the Newberry Award. I found many instances where something was introduced and left dangling.

I also thought it odd that she begins the book through the eyes of one character, Effie, (and she ends up a rather minor character in the story) and spends the rest of the book with the stream of consciousness being Birdie's. I was expecting more of a connecti
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Amanda
Rereading a childhood favorite is a dangerous endeavor. However, last year rereading Reddy Fox went well, so when the ebook version of this Lois Lenski classic showed up on Netgalley, I just had to try it out. I can see why I enjoyed it as a child, but I can’t really imagine adding it to the collection if I was a public librarian or, in the realm of more possibility, giving it to my nephew.

This is part of a series that Lenski wrote and illustrated in the 1940s about children living in different
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Alisha
Newbery winner. 1946.

The last few winners i have read have screamed of their time period-- meaning, their implications on the time in which they were written, not necessarily the time period they were about.

1946. Right after the war. People being stuck in their ways, maybe even imprisoned in the mind somewhat, being juxtaposed with people who planned, saved and had aspirations for themselves and their families. Obviously comparisons and books about conflict from that are applicable in any time,
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Children's Books: The Medal Winner from 1946 - July 2016 1 3 May 23, 2015 09:15AM  
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lois_Lenski

Many of Lenski's books can be collated into 'series' - but since they don't have to be read in order, you may be better off just looking for more information here: http://library.illinoisstate.edu/uniq...

Probably her most famous set is the following:
American Regional Series

Beginning with Bayou Suzette in 1943, Lois Lenski began writing a series of books whic
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More about Lois Lenski...

Other Books in the Series

American Regional (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Bayou Suzette
  • Blue Ridge Billy
  • Judy's Journey
  • Boom Town Boy
  • Cotton In My Sack
  • Texas Tomboy
  • Prairie School
  • Corn Farm Boy
  • San Francisco Boy
  • Flood Friday
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison Cotton In My Sack Prairie School Shoo Fly Girl The Little Train (Mr. Small, #4)

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