Doris Buchanan Smith

Selected Works

Juvenile Fiction
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
Doris Buchanan Smith at home in North Carolina

A Taste of Blackberries, 19th Edition

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Few have approached the place of honor this one holds. The Giant Treasury of Great Read-Aloud Books, Jim Trelease

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


Mother was in her office with the door closed, which meant she was not to be disturbed. You needn't hear her typewriter to know she was hard at work. Writing also involved thinking. She had one rule for us to follow; don't knock on her office door between 9 a.m. and noon, except in an emergency! But we did it anyway. We'd bang on the door asking Mom for milk money, or, if we needed her help in resolving a dispute, or had something terribly funny we just had to tell her. None of these things constituted an emergency. If anyone telephoned asking for Mom we were to say she was not at home.

On a particular morning, my Dad answered the phone, and realizing this call was special he gently knocked Mom's office door. At first there was silence. And then Dad knocked a second time, saying, “Honey, it’s not life and death, but you can take my word for it, you’re home, your home.” An editor was calling from New York to tell Mom that her life’s ambition had come true, a big publisher had accepted Mom's first book. That book received wide acclaim in 1973, and continues to engage readers of all ages today. Have you read 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 1975

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

"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