The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
A Storm of Strawberries
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Twelve-year-old Darby is excited – it is the weekend of the family's chocolate hunt. However, beloved sister Kaydee has suddenly brought home a friend for the weekend. Plus her parents (who run the family's strawberry farm) seem distracted, increasingly preoccupied with news that a major storm is brewing. Does no one realise how important the event is to Darby?
Darby has Down's syndrome and sometimes it's sometimes not clear to her why things cannot always be as she would like. In this case, it feels as if two of the things she loves most are at risk of slipping away from her.
All the action takes place over a single weekend in this powerful and beautiful little novel. The depiction of Down's Syndrome is convincing, sensitive and does not dominate or dictate the plot – it is just a part of Darby's character. Darby is an exceptionally likeable protagonist. The reader empathises fully with her predicament, but also that of her parents as they battle the elements to save their farm and protect their livelihood. And also with that of Kaydee, who, it becomes apparent, is falling in love...