About The Book

“If ever there was a book primed to show American children why families from other countries are often desperate to reach our shores, this is it.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A timely reminder about conditions in our current world.” —The Horn Book
“A worthy introduction to an important slice of history.” —Kirkus Reviews

Through the eyes of twelve-year-old Lorraine this “moving personal story” (Booklist, starred review) from the award-winning author of Hidden and Hush gives insight and understanding into a little known part of history—the Irish potato famine.

It is the autumn of 1846 in Ireland. Lorraine and her brother are waiting for the time to pick the potato crop on their family farm leased from an English landowner. But this year is different—the spuds are mushy and ruined. What will Lorraine and her family do?

Then Lorraine meets Miss Susannah, the daughter of the wealthy English landowner who owns Lorraine’s family’s farm, and the girls form an unlikely friendship that they must keep a secret from everyone. Two different cultures come together in a deserted Irish meadow. And Lorraine has one question: how can she help her family survive?

A little known part of history, the Irish potato famine altered history forever and caused a great immigration in the later part of the 1800s. Lorraine’s story is a heartbreaking and ultimately redemptive story of one girl’s strength and resolve to save herself and her family against all odds.

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Donna Jo Napoli is the acclaimed and award-winning author of many novels, both fantasies and contemporary stories. She won the Golden Kite Award for Stones in Water in 1997. Her novel Zel was named an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, a Publishers Weekly Best Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, and a School Library Journal Best Book, and a number of her novels have been selected as ALA Best Books. She is a professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband. Visit her at DonnaJoNapoli.com.

Awards and Honors

  • Carolyn W. Field Award Honor Book (PA)
  • Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title

Resources and Downloads

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More books from this author: Donna Jo Napoli