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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World Hunger Day

Today is World Hunger Day, a day for us to work together to end hunger worldwide.

    

Homecoming by Cynthia Voight. On a road trip to their great-aunt's house, the Tillerman's mother leaves the kids in the car while she runs into the mall for something. She never comes back. It's up to Dicey, the oldest, to get her siblings to their great-aunts, trying to survive on little money and keeping away from main roads and prying eyes who may call the authorities. And, after all that, when they find their great-aunt, will she even want them? This has been a teen favorite for decades and is the first book in the Tillerman cycle. Follow it with Dicey's Song.

What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel. Menzel went around the world photographing families surrounded by a week's worth of groceries. It's amazing to see how much or how little families consume around the world, how much they spend, and the price differences between foods in different countries. Recipes and some cultural notes are also included.

The Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese Schoolgirl by Ma Yan, edited by Pierre Haski, translated from the French by Lisa Appignanesi, originally translated from the Mandarin by He Yanping. Ma Yan is 13 and just wants to go to school, but her family lives in backbreaking poverty and she's often pulled out so her brothers can attend-- her family can't afford tuition for all their children. Most striking is when this book takes place-- the late 1990s. China's economic boom is a thing to behold-- but it hasn't hit the entirety of the country.

    

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd. In 1981, Fergus's brother is in prison and on hunger strike. Fergus is being blackmailed into being an IRA runner. When he finds body of a murdered child on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, he thinks about not mentioning it, not wanting to set off retaliation killings, but it turns out the body isn't recent-- it's 2000 years old.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls. Rex Walls was a dreamer, but a drunk. Jeannette's childhood was spent traveling in the Southwest, but in they end, the family ended up in the same small West Virginia town that Rex had fought so hard to escape.

This is Paradise!: My North Korean Childhood by Hyok Kang with Phillipe Grangereau translated from the orginal French by Shaun Whiteside. Starting with daily life in North Korea, that start to show how repressive life is, Kang's story then moves to the horrors and hunger brought on the famine of the mid-1990s. Kang's family escapes to China and, eventually, South Korea. The South Korea section are particularly interesting and moving, as Kang starts to realize how brainwashed he was about the realities of life outside North Korea.

What other books do you know of that look at hunger today?

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