“Paula Newcomer blends her poetic sensibilities with history to tell the fascinating story of New Jersey’s own Elizabeth White and how she helped give the world edible blueberries. A must-read for all ages.”
– Helen-Chantal Pike, “‘Greetings From New Jersey: A Postcard Tour of the Garden State.'”
The Blueberry Girl is written for every young reader, girl or boy, who’s ever dreamed of making the world a better place. “Miss Lizzie” White, born on a cranberry farm in New Jersey in 1871, had such a dream. When she tasted the tiny blue huckleberries growing wild on her farm, her face puckered. Ugh!. They were tart and sour. She wanted a big, sweet, juicy berry. She experimented for years, planting new seedlings and crossbreeding bushes, until she created the new, modern blueberry. Every blueberry in America can be traced back to Elizabeth Coleman White’s farm! I highly recommend you grab a bowl of berries, or a blueberry muffin, or a piece of blueberry pie as you read this remarkable true tale of the “Blueberry Queen.”
– Gayle Eggen Aanensen, author of The Little Rough Rider at the Jersey Shore and Summer of the Suffragists, historical fiction for young readers set in Ocean Grove, N.J.
A Note from Paula: “If you spill some blueberry pie on the pages, don’t worry, they’re already blue.”
“When Ms. Newcomer visited our West Dover Elementary School and presented her book to the K-5 kids in Toms River, it was a much anticipated and lively presentation. Ms. Newcomer told the story of a real New Jersey girl, “Miss Lizzie,” who dreamed of creating the modern blueberry from huckleberries she picked with her father in the Piney woods. It was a fun and interactive morning (the kids had hands-on experience with sphagnum moss, which grows in the Pine Barrens), and Ms. Newcomer provided follow up activities to teachers on “how to write a blueberry poem,” and coloring pages for the youngest children.”
– Victor Kwortnik, Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Chair, West Dover