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***Feed the Children First

edited by Mary E. Lyons

Reviewed April 24, 2002.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002.  48 pages.

It’s interesting that this book came out so soon after Black Potatoes, which was also about the Irish Potato Famine.  This one did not go into nearly as much depth, but all the text was actual quotations from Irish people who had lived at the time of the famine.

I liked the pictures better in this book--She used Irish works of art for many of the illustrations.  The credits are tucked away in the back, to keep from distracting the child reader.  The pictures made the book beautiful.

I think this book is more accessible for a younger child.  Although it’s still a grim story, it didn’t go into as much depth, nor did it explore many of the reasons for the hunger.  However, it gave you the idea of what happened, using the words of those who were actually there.  This is better for a younger reader, who would get bogged down by the level of detail presented in Black Potatoes.   

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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