The amazing story of an Iowa farm boy whose life’s work impacted the world comes to life in this compelling biography. Norman Ernest Borlaug is likely a man you never heard of, but his work in developing higher yielding wheat earned him the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

Norman was not some scientist stuck in a lab. Instead he helped Mexico and many impoverished countries beat hunger by showing them new methods to grow wheat, producing abundant healthy crops that stamped out starvation. He was more comfortable in the field than he was on the world’s stage.

The 11 chapters lets one experience his amazing 95 years. The text is accompanied by illustrations in the style you see on the cover. They provide another view of this individual and his passion to help people. Frequent FOOD FOR THOUGHT panels and other colored sidebars share information about wheat growing and events impacting the world during Norman’s life.

A final section, A CALL TO ACTION, challenges young readers to become the next Norman Borlaug. There they will find an outline as to how they can make a difference right in their own home and community combating future food insecurity.

Norman Ernest Borlaug was truly a HERO FOR THE HUNGRY. This biography is the perfect title to engage our youth and to discover how this humble man became the “Father of the Green Revolution.”


Peggy Thomas
Peggy Thomas has always loved true stories, and can’t remember a time when she wasn’t thrilled to find animal bones, musty encyclopaedias, or a history plaque by the side of the road. It’s that same curiosity that has fueled the research and writing of more than twenty nonfiction books for children.

With a master’s degree in anthropology, Peggy explores a wide range of subjects, blending history and science to create award-winning titles. Her most recent books include Lincoln Clears a Path (Calkins Creek, 2021) and Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car (Calkins Creek, 2019), which earned NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2020 Best Book from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, and Book of the Year from the Henry Ford Heritage Association.

Peggy is a member of SCBWI, a blogger for Nonfiction Ninjas, and on the creative team behind Nonfiction Fest, a month-long celebration of writing nonfiction for children.

Sam Kalda
Sam Kalda is an illustrator and artist based in Saint Paul. His commissioned works include editorial, book, advertising and pattern illustration. In 2017, he received a gold medal in book illustration from the Society of Illustrators in New York. He also won a medal from the Cheese Club in college for being able to identify the most amount of, well, cheeses. His first book, Of Cats and Men: History’s Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers and Statesmen, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2017. He recently illustrated his first picture book, When We Walked on the Moon, written by David Long and published by Wide Eyed Press in 2019, as well as the follow-up, When Darwin Sailed the Sea.

He lives in an old house with his husband and two cats, Arthur and Frances. In their role as studio assistants, the cats specialize in houseplant demolition and pencil relocation. He enjoys futzing around in his garden, going to estate sales, and taking long walks. So basically, when he’s not working, he’s retired. He’s taught at CUNY Queens College and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


Coming up next week is another edition of MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY! It’s here I share highlights from other individuals blogging about middle grade books. Many of the posts will have reviews, interviews, and tips on writing. Take a look at PAST MMGM POSTS.

It’s easy to join the lineup. All you have to do is email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com

Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and don’t forget to say what you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to HERO FOR THE HUNGRY

  1. Susan Wroble says:

    I have loved Peggy Thomas’s picture books, so am really looking forward to this MG. Thanks for sharing!

  2. carolbaldwin says:

    What a great concept for a book. Sounds terrific.

  3. True stories are my favorite kind of stories to read and share. I didn’t know about Norman Borlaug or the amazing work he did to combat hunger. True champions for mankind always stray away from publicity. But, it is an inspiring story that kids need to know about as it shows how one man made a difference.

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