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Nory Ryan and her family have lived in Ireland for generations.  But when the potato blight hits their farm, and greedy noblemen refuse to help, they must either flee or starve.  Nory courageously works to save her family, one person at a time.

After a slow start in the first chapters, I quickly devoured this book.  Giff writes powerfully of the Irish people and their love for their land, family and friends.  Some of the scenes were difficult for me to read, especially when they involved starving babies and children.  Even though this is a juvenile fiction book, it’s not appropriate for lower elementary.   In the end, I was sorry to leave Nory and her family, and was glad to discover two sequels: Maggie’s Door and Water Street.

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