Few have approached the place of honor this one holds.

Doris Buchanan Smith (June 1, 1934-August 8, 2002)


In 1973, when A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES was published, I was sixteen years old. While composing an article for Wikipedia 40 years later I needed to cite "credible and reliable" sources to correspond with anything that I wrote about the importance of the book, lest the Wiki Police should come and arrest me! The first-hand praise I’d heard all my life was not sufficiently authoritative for an encyclopedic narrative.

As it happened, my work as a legal word processor in New York City placed me a few blocks away from one of my mother’s favorite hangouts whenever she was in town, namely, the Main Branch of the New York Public Library, a Beaux-Arts landmark on Fifth Avenue, flanked by a famous pair of marble lions, Patience and Fortitude. Here is what my research turned up:

“It will be difficult to find a children’s book this autumn by a new author as good as Doris Buchanan Smith’s A Taste of Blackberries.” TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

“A celebration of the continuity of the life-death cycle.” ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

“In Smith’s moving story, a prank ends in tragedy, and a boy must learn to live not only with the loss of a friend, but with the feeling that he could have prevented it.” PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

“Rightfully viewed, along with Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia, as one of the seminal children’s books on the subject of death.” SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“It blazed the way for the many other grief books that quickly followed, but few have approached the place of honor this one holds.” JIM TRELEASE'S GIANT TREASURY OF GREAT READ-ALOUD BOOKS


"The author weaves a believable and poignant tale of friendship, loss, and acceptance." Book Links