Friday, January 6, 2012

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

Take a journey back in time to a simpler life of farming and surviving off the land.  Here you will learn about those who were successful at and those who were not.

Open Road Media and Net Galley gave me the chance to read this ebook for review (thank you).  Lois Lenski wrote a lot of books, many with a historical theme.  This is another of these and was prize worthy in its day.

Milner Library at the Illinois State University had this to say about the book:  

"Strawberry Girl. Lippincott, 1945.
This 1946 Newbery Award-winning book portrays life for the hard-working Boyers, a Florida Cracker family developing a strawberry farm in Florida when such farming was just beginning there. The Boyers must learn to cope with their proud but lazy neighbors, the Slatters, who are squatters rather than farmers."

I'm pleased to see Open Road bring this classic story back to life.  It's well worth a read again.  The lessons within are still applicable.

The Boyers buy an old house next to the Slaters.  The Slaters let their animals run free, don't have much to eat, and the father tends to drink up any proceeds they get from sales of goods.

Soon, old man Slater decides he doesn't like them.  After all, they're painting their house, trying to grow strawberries and fencing their land.  They're uppity snobs in his mind and he's not going to let them get away with it.

Growing up on a farm, we always knew who had more money than we did.  But we all worked hard for what we did have and we didn't have time to resent the neighbors.

This story shows how the Boyers try to mend their relationship with Slaters.  It's not easy and it takes a touch from God to make a turn around at the end of the story.  But it shows that having more that you earned by working hard has nothing to do with being uppity.

Why not share this old classic with your middle grade reader.  It would be a nice lead in to reading more on the Great Depression or droughts or the black potato disease in Ireland.  Our children of today need to realize what they have now wasn't always available to all...

Happy reading.

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