Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to hunger. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about hunger.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about hunger, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The St. Patrick’s Day Shillelagh to popular sellers like There Are No Bears in This Bakery.
We hope this list of kids books about hunger can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
The creator of the “New York Times”-bestselling “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” delivers another sly story of a hungry bear and a smooth-talking narrator: a tough gumshoe of a cat named Muffin. Full color.
More than anything, Beatrice longs to be a schoolgirl. But in her small African village, only children who can afford uniforms and books can go to school. Beatrice knows that with six children to care for, her family is much too poor. But then Beatrice receives a wonderful gift from some people far away – a goat! Fat and sleek as a ripe mango, Mugisa (which means “luck”) gives milk that Beatrice can sell. With Mugisa’s help, it looks as if Beatrice’s dream may come true after all.
Page McBrier and Lori Lohstoeter beautifully recount this true story about how one child, given the right tools, is able to lift her family out of poverty. Thanks to Heifer Project International – a charitable organization that donates livestock to poor communities around the world – other families like Beatrice’s will also have a chance to change their lives.
A band of tiny squash-bucklers go on adventures of epic proportions in this second book in a brand-new chapter book series about pocket-sized pirates!
In the junk shop at the end of the street is a dusty old ship in a bottle. And when the world isn’t watching, a tiny pirate crew comes out of the ship to explore. They aren’t much bigger than a matchstick, but they have a HUGE appetite for adventure!
When the junk-shop dog moves in underneath the Pocket Pirates’ shelf, their route to the kitchen is blocked! The noise of rumbling stomachs is keeping everyone awake, and their last few stale breadcrumbs won’t keep them going long.
Do they dare to go…OUTSIDE?
From the creator of Goodnight Goon, a laugh-out-loud friendship story that perfectly captures the high and low moments of a typical playdate!
Pete couldn’t be more thrilled when a monster shows up in his bedroom. Now Pete has someone to play with! And the hungry monster couldn’t be more thrilled to be there, either. Now he can . . . EAT PETE!
But Pete has other ideas. And they are all good fun and quite distracting–things like playing cars and pirates. Well, we all know the course of playing together nicely never did run smoothly. So how much longer will the monster have to wait before he can . . . EAT PETE?
What's That Noise? - When Magnus the seal is awakened by a rumbling sound, it may be closer than he thinks in a funny, kid-friendly story that winds up with facts about Arctic creatures. Rumble, rumble, rumble. . . . What’s that noise? Magnus the Arctic seal wakes up from a very deep sleep one morning, puzzled by a strange rumbling sound. What’s that noise? Could it be the creaking of the trees? The whistling of the wind? The cracking of the ice? The roaring of the sea? Hare, Owl, and Polar Bear don’t have any idea, but Walrus has a good suggestion: it could be Magnus’s rumbling tummy! After a yummy feast of plump, pink shrimp, the friends all settle down to sleep – but suddenly there’s another rumbling sound. What’s that noise? Readers curious about the creatures can learn more about them and their environment in an informative final spread.
Rice from Heaven - Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea. “We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.” Yoori lives in South Korea and doesn’t know what North Korea is like, but her father (Appa) does. Appa grew up in North Korea, where he did not have enough food to eat. Starving, he fled to South Korea in search of a better life. Yoori doesn’t know how she can help as she’s only a little “grain of rice” herself, but Appa tells her that they can secretly help the starving people by sending special balloons that carry rice over the border. Villagers glare and grumble, and children protest feeding the enemy, but Yoori doesn’t back down. She has to help. People right over the border don’t have food. No rice, and no green fields. With renewed spirit, volunteers gather in groups, fill the balloons with air, and tie the Styrofoam containers filled with rice to the tails of the balloons. With a little push, the balloons soar up and over the border, carrying rice in the darkness of the night over to North Korea.
The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh - A family retells the story of the shillelagh that was whittled from a tree. During the Irish potato famine, Fergus and his family left for America. But first Fergus cut a branch from a blackthorn tree to take a piece of Ireland with him.
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.
"A hungry snake. A beautiful brown boy. What more can a young reader ask for?"--National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson
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