The Raspberry Room


64 pages
ISBN 1-55143-353-2
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Gillian Newland
Reviewed by Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher writes novels for young adults. Her most recent works
are The Trouble with Liberty, Zee’s Way, and Chat Room.


The raspberry bushes in Abby’s backyard hide a clear space near the
fence, and when Abby crawls through the prickly branches, she imagines
herself an explorer in a wild jungle. She nicknames the clear space the
Raspberry Room.

Abby tries to take Laura to this secret spot, but all Laura wants to do
is swing, so Abby goes exploring alone. When she returns to the swings,
Laura is gone. Puzzled and upset, Abby runs to her mother. Though she
gets a loving hug, she doesn’t feel better—especially when her baby
brother repeatedly throws his stuffed toy monkey at her. In frustration,
Abby takes the monkey to the Raspberry Room and stuffs it into a
knothole. When she goes back for it the next day, its tail is missing,
the stuffing is coming out of its bottom, and it’s soaked from the

Young Abby faces a number of problems. She knows she is responsible for
the destruction of the monkey but doesn’t know what to do about it.
She is also torn about what to do with a toy tractor she has found, and,
of course, she is confused about her friendship with Laura.

Alison Lohans has accurately captured the workings of a young mind in
this chapter book, and young readers will be able to relate to Abby’s
dilemmas. The accompanying black-and-white illustrations are a good
transition tool for readers making the move from picture books to longer
reads. Recommended.


Lohans, Alison., “The Raspberry Room,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 18, 2024,