I enjoyed Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski as a girl, but I love Strawberry Girl as an adult. Perhaps it is because we lived in Florida for about eight years, and reading this book as an adult helped me to understand my neighbors.
Perhaps it is because as an adult I can appreciate the humor, dialect and characters better.
Whatever the reason, I’ve read it three times in the past six years and loved it each and every time.
Lenski writes the story from Birdie’s perspective, a young girl whose family has just moved onto a new homestead in southern Florida. Their neighbors consider them Yankees, because they come from northern Florida and because they put on ‘airs’ – such as washing their faces, combing their hair and cleaning their house.
Strawberry Girl is a story of a family working hard to make a living in the unforgiving Florida climate. It’s also a story of dealing with difficult neighbors and forgiveness.
Lenski has a wonderful ear for the southern drawl spoken by Birdie, her family & her neighbors. It makes this book a delight to read aloud. I was surprised that I, who have no ear for accents and cannot read in different voices for different characters, was able to read the dialogue in Strawberry Girl with some semblance of southern drawl.Â My children and I had so much fun reading this book, I’m sure your family will enjoy it too.
The back cover says it’s for ages 10 and up, but I read it aloud to my first- and second-grader this year and they enjoyed it immensely.