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It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to play the fiddle. But at sixteen, Molly is already a master. After running away from home she finds that the best way to survive in America’s great depression days is to travel around offering fiddle performances in exchange for money, food, or even just a place to stay. She loves her nomadic lifestyle, with no one to tell her what to do or where to go, and she wouldn’t trade the way she lives for anything. Traveling east from the area known as the “dust bowl,” she meets Pepper, a lanky boy about her age who plays guitar and has a great sense of humor. The two agree to be partners and continue to travel east, performing in cafés and theaters as well as “Hoovervilles” and shanty towns. Their adventures take them all over the country, but as they become more well- known, the more trouble they encounter. Will the two be able to keep playing their instruments, riding the rails, and meeting new people every day, continuing their adventurous lifestyle? Or is there something bigger for them that they never could have imagined?

Blackberry Blossom

  • "Folks, you are going to fall head over heels for this sixteen-year-old girl named Molly. She’s very sensible, but has run away from a depression-laden and buried-in-dust, home. It’s not clear right away why she has left, but her feelings will eventually come out. Anyway, she’s now on the road by herself, and in order to eat and have a place to sleep she plays a killer fiddle at cafes and bars. (To me there is no more enchanting music than that from a fiddle.) The people who hear her love her music.
    Eventually she meets Pepper, a full-of-fun but a bit unruly lad, who joins her music with a guitar. She likes this boy but soon realizes her hands will be full dealing with his antics. They go on, together get through every scrape, and eventually get to New York which has been her goal and…but—OK, no spoilers!
    Up to now I’ve mostly been interested in reading “thrillers” (not to say this isn’t a thriller in its own right) and having met this strong female lead, I might just be changing my mind.
    When Molly gets a letter from “home,” my tears appear, and I will have to fight with tears again and again before this charming book ends."

    "Just like Mattie Richardson's other books, I could not set Blackberry Blossom down until I read the entire novel. The characters, setting and plot were so compelling, and I enjoyed a trip back to another time in American history. I loved the spirit and tenacity of the main characters and the fact that their roots remained an integral part of their personalities."

    I am sure that young adults and adults would enjoy this book.


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