"Few have approached the place of honor this one holds." GIANT TREASURY OF GREAT READ-ALOUD BOOKS

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


In 1973, when A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES was published, I was sixteen years old. Forty years later, while preparing an article for Wikipedia about my mom, I learned how to cite "credible and reliable" sources to corroborate what I had written. You couldn't just say, “this is a great book,” because such a claim without evidence does not meet the level of scrutiny required in an encyclopedic style essay.

It just so happened that my job as a word processor in New York City placed me within a few blocks of one of my mother’s favorite places to hangout whenever she was in town. Mom had spent many hours in 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.

This 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

"The author weaves a believable and poignant tale of friendship, loss, and acceptance." BOOK LINKS

“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