***Nory Ryan's Song
by Patricia Reilly Giff
Reviewed August 2001.
Even the children’s book I read this week was rather heavy. Nory
was set in the 1840s during the Irish Potato Famine.
Of course, I read it now since I had just been to Ireland and seen the
abandoned cottages. Ireland still only has about half the population
it had before the famine. I have read other books about the famine,
but I liked this one as well. Most of the others focused on the difficult
journey to America, but this one was about actually trying to stay alive
during the famine. It turns out that when the people couldn’t pay
the rent because the potato crop failed, the landlords actually took their
animals as payment--thus taking away their means of feeding themselves.
She said in the note at the end that twice as many animals were sent to
England during the famine as were needed to feed the whole population of
Ireland. So this book was sobering, too, though it had a surprisingly
upbeat flavor to it.
Copyright © 2003
Sondra Eklund. All rights
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