Doris Buchanan Smith

A Taste of Blackberries

Doris Buchanan Smith

A Taste of Blackberries

Selected Works

Juvenile Fiction
A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES 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, Giant Treasury Of Great Read-Aloud Books

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Few have approached the place of honor this one holds.

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


When A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES debuted in 1973 I was sixteen. 40 years later, as I drafted a Wikipedia article about my mother and her first published work, I needed "credible and reliable" sources concerning the book's importance, or else the Wiki Police would flag my page. All the first-hand praise I'd heard my entire life wouldn't be sufficient for an encyclopedia article.

As it happened, my job as a legal word processor in New York City put me just a few blocks away from the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. The Fifth Avenue Beaux-Arts landmark, flanked by a famous pair of marble lions, Patience and Fortitude, had been one of my mother’s favorite haunts when she visited New York.

Here is what my research turned up regarding A Taste of Blackberries:

“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 GIANT TREASURY OF GREAT READ-ALOUD BOOKS


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