I loved this book, by Patricia Reilly Giff. It had strong plot and characters, was written wonderfully, and just plain drew me in. I remember how I found it on my shelf. It was the day before Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and the fourth grade was all dressing up like their favorite book characters. I was frantically looking for something that was good, but obtainable. Then I found this book that centers around the famine in Ireland. I think I couldn’t help but be drawn to it, since the main character has the same name as me. I read a bit, and realized it was what I wanted to do. Of course, I couldn’t help but finish. Nora, called Nory, Ryan has an okay life. The farm on Maidin Bay is doing fine, and her family has enough to get by. Even when she ends up spending time with scary Anne Donnelly, things aren’t as bad as the things to come. Then the sickness hits, and Ireland’s most valuable crop is failing. Life on the bay before wasn’t easy, but now…things are bad. And I mean BAD. This book open the reader’s eyes to what Irish people went through during that time, and a young girl’s attempts to keep hoping and eating. I will warn you, the ending makes you feel a little sad. In fact, I nearly cried. But this book is still something you may not want to miss out on. And if you do enjoy it, there’s a sequel.