I know of Norman Borlaug because a hall is named after him at the University of Minnesota. My husband studied horticulture and worked in agronomy there, so the subjects in the book were not unknown to me.
No matter the reader’s familiarity with agriculture, Borlaug’s story is engrossing. He affected the entire world with his dedication to changing world Hunger. And he did it!
So many young readers are activists already. How can they help becoming Hunger activists after reading this book?
I had shivers as I read the last chapter. Could Norman Borlaug’s life be any more exciting? The author, Peggy Thomas, creates as much tension and mystery as any good thriller.
Sam Kalda’s illustrations and the design of this book are complementary and elucidating. The palette is an earthy one. Art appears throughout this gem of a book, drawing the reader through the biography.
Endnotes tenaciously reference the facts. Sidebars explain unfamiliar concepts and definitions in a lively way.
Thomas makes good use of introducing ideas that are tied off with satisfaction for the reader. In the last paragraphs we learn that Borlaug’s childhood dreams of playing for the Chicago Cubs or becoming a wrestling coach weren’t realized, but this man is one of five to receive three of the highest international honors, along with “Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel, and Nelson Mandela.” (pg 141).
I love this book. I think you and your young readers will, too. How will we step up individually to the challenge of world Hunger?
Hero for the Hungry:
The Life and Work of Norman Borlaug
written by Peggy Thomas
illustrated by Sam Kalda
Feeding Minds Press
(American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture)