Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (1945)

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

Lois Lenski (1893 –  1974) was an incredibly prolific author and illustrator of children’s books, many featuring regional themes. Children were often shown in terms of the work they did to help their families survive.

The series that put her on the map was the Regional Stories, which began with Bayou Suzette. Strawberry Girl (1945) was the second in the series, and the one for which Lenski is perhaps best remembered. She won the 1946 Newbery Medal for this book.

From the 1945 J.B. Lippincott edition of Strawberry Girl written and illustrated by Lois Lenski: Birdie Boyer belonged to a large “strawberry family” in Florida, who lived on a flat woods farm in the lake section of the state. They raised strawberries for a living.

Through all the hazards of the uncertain crop — battling against dry weather and grass-fires, the going hogs and cattle of their neighbors — Birdie dreamed of an education that would include playing the organ. In the end she won not only the title of “strawberry girl,” but book learning as well.

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Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
60th anniversary edition on Amazon

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This is a story full of enterprise and fun and the excitement of real life in this interesting part of America. Lois Lenski has used her gift for catching the flavor and drama of life in a remote corner of America.

It is the second of a series of regional stories through which she promises to introduce other fascinating and little-known backgrounds to young readers. This story will take a place beside her popular Louisiana story Bayou Suzette in the affection of readers.

The more than eighty illustrations are distinguished for their action and fascinating detail. They add greatly to this true picture of Florida life at a time when old Florida ways were changing to new.

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illustration from Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

Illustration by Lois Lenski from the 1945 edition of Strawberry Girl

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More about Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

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