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The great Irish potato famine -- the Great Hunger -- was one of the worst disasters of the nineteenth century. Within seven years of the onset of a fungus that wiped out Ireland's staple potato crop, more than a quarter of the country's eight million people had either starved to death, died of disease, or emigrated to other lands. Photographs have documented the horrors of other cataclysmic times in history -- slavery and the Holocaust -- but there are no known photographs whatsoever of the Great Hunger.
In Feed the Children First, Mary E. Lyons combines first-person accounts of those who remembered the Great Hunger with artwork that evokes the times and places and voices themselves. The result is a close-up look at incredible suffering, but also a celebration of joy the Irish took in stories and music and helping one another -- all factors that helped them endure.
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Mary E. Lyons is the author of many books for children and young adults, including Roy Makes a Car, Feed the Children First, Dear Ellen Bee, Letters from a Slave Girl, and Sorrow's Kitchen. In addition to the Golden Kite Award and a Horn Book Fanfare for Letters from a Slave Girl, Lyons was also the recipient of a 2005 Aesop Award for Roy Makes a Car and a Carter G. Woodson Award for Sorrow's Kitchen. A teacher and former librarian, she lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. You can learn more about her at www.lyonsdenbooks.com.From School Library Journal:
Grades 4-8--This beautifully crafted work combines first-person accounts of Ireland's potato famine, the Great Hunger of 1845-1852, with artwork that recalls those times. Following a concise, informative introduction, the brief selections speak of the people and the land before the Great Hunger, the potato blight and subsequent starvation and illness, the poorhouse, soup kitchens, relief works, eviction, and emigration. They bear witness not only to unbearable suffering, but also to the humanity, dignity, and endurance of a people. Almost all are Irish voices, stories handed down through the families of survivors. Although no photographs of the Great Hunger exist, Irish newspapermen traveling through the country made sketches, and painters later used the theme; full-color reproductions of many are perfectly paired with the selections, as are a few photographs from a later famine. The attractive layout makes effective use of white space. The whole is a fine accompaniment to Susan Campbell Bartoletti's Black Potatoes (Houghton, 2001) and Patricia Reilly Giff's novel, Nory Ryan's Song (Delacorte, 2000), as well as powerful testimony to the suffering of famine victims worldwide.
Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0689842260 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0269057
Book Description Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0689842260