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Book Review of Strawberry Girl

Strawberry Girl
Strawberry Girl
Author: Lois Lenski
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Paperback
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Helpful Score: 5

First note: young readers might struggle with the dialogue, which is spelled out phonetically in the local dialect. For example, the girl says, "We're studying to raise strawberries," and the boy answers, "You purely can't! Can't raise nothin' on this sorry ole piece o' land but a fuss! Your strawberries won't never make."

Second note: Lenski said she wanted to "present vivid, sympathetic pictures of the real life of different kinds of Americans, against authentic backgrounds of diverse localities." I think she succeeded in this, and in that respect the book was a good, somewhat educational read. On the other hand, I did not find it a pleasant read. Across the street from Strawberry Girl's farm are the Slaters, who let their animals run loose, eating everyone else's crops, while they sit back getting drunk and plotting trouble. The two fathers go to war, and all of the casualties are animals. They get whacked throughout the book, the pigs get their ears cut off and later lose their lives, the mule gets poisoned, the chickens get shot, live bunnies get fed to a pet rattlesnake. The only animal to come through unscathed is the alligator. The feud gets put to rights in the end, but I didn't have a good time on the way there.