Strawberry Moon by Karen English

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Two new heroines from the author of Francie.

There's trouble between Imani's mom and dad, so her mother is taking her and her brother to stay awhile at Auntie Dot's house in Los Angeles. Imani is resentful -- she plans to call her father and ask him to come get her right after they arrive. But as they drive, her mom tells Imani many stories about how she stayed with Auntie Dot in the early sixties while her parents temporarily separated. Imani's mom -- Junie -- had a knack for getting into trouble during her difficult adjustment to life without her mother, but the understanding of Auntie Dot always helped to keep her headed in the right direction. By means of this series of flashbacks, Imani realizes there are larger things at work in her parents' lives than she is prepared to understand, and for the first time sees her mother as not just a mom but a person as well.

About Karen English

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Karen English is a Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning author and a retired elementary school teacher. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Laura Freeman has illustrated several books for young readers. Her artwork has also appeared in publications such as the The New York Times and New York magazine. Laura grew up in New York City, and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children. To learn more, please visit
Published October 11, 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 128 pages
Genres: Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Guiberson (Tales of the Haunted Deep, 2000, etc.) has crafted a nonfiction narrative that imparts general information about the birth cycle of emperor penguins in combination with the more engaging story of a specific mother and father penguin caring for their own egg and the resulting chick.

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The New York Times

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English, whose previous novel, ''Francie,'' also dealt with an African-American girl and her single mother, at times conveys well the way parents sound to kids who miss them: ''That year Daddy turned silent and Mommy would become this chirpy voice on the telephone sounding squeezed through a stra...

Apr 21 2002 | Read Full Review of Strawberry Moon

Publishers Weekly

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For example, Auntie Dot teaches June that children born in her birthday month (June) have their own strawberry moon ("She might as well have dropped a diamond into my hand—giving me the name of my very own moon," says June).

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When Imani's parents begin going through a difficult period, Imani's mother packs up her two children and drives to Los Angeles.

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