Doris Buchanan Smith

Doris Buchanan Smith, at her Hayesville, North Carolina home, Tree Song

Doris Buchanan Smith age ten.

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, THE READ-ALOUD HANDBOOK

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"Few have approached the place of honor this one holds." Jim Trelease The Read-Aloud Handbook

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


The writer's craft

Mom was in her office when the phone rang. Her door was closed, which meant that she was not to be disturbed. Not a sound was coming from her typewriter, yet we all knew she was working. Staring at a blank page was as much a part of a writer’s craft as any other. Each day, for 2 years, Doris Buchanan Smith reminded her kids that she only needed three hours of peace-and-quiet to focus on her writing. Our response had been to open the door and ask for milk money, or for help resolving a dispute, or to ask a silly question that could easily have waited an hour or two. Mom’s response was to growl, or glare, until we backed out of her office closing the door behind us. When anyone telephoned asking for her, we had been instructed to say that she was not at home, unless it was an emergency.

One morning dad answered the phone, and realizing the call was a special one, he ignored the aforementioned rule and knocked on mom’s office door. First there was silence. I could imagine mom’s glaring from the other side of the door. Dad knocked a second time, gently, and added, “Honey, it isn’t a life-and-death emergency, but trust me, you’re home, your home!”

A children’s book editor from New York was calling to inform my mother that her life’s ambition had come true; her first book, A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES, had been accepted and would be published in May, 1973.

Mom passed away in 2002, but A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES continues to engage readers of all ages. 2013 marked the books’ 40th anniversary. A Newberry Medal nominee, and winner of the national children’s book award in Holland, in 1977 (Zilveren Griffel), A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES has never been out of print in all that time. © Randy Smith

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


After a quiet beginning, this exceptional chapter book gains momentum as 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: THE READ-ALOUD HANDBOOK by Jim Trelease