POTATO: A Tale from the Great Depression by Kate Lied

POTATO: A Tale from the Great Depression

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Lied's first book retells a family story that brings home the reality of the Great Depression. The narrator, pictured as a young girl with pigtails writing next to a family photo album, tells the true story of her grandparents, Clarence and Agnes, who were young parents when the Depression first hit. When Clarence lost his job, the family lost their house in Iowa. Clarence and Agnes borrowed a car and drove to Idaho to dig potatoes. By day they worked for the farmer; by night, with his permission, they dug potatoes from the picked-over fields for themselves. The work only lasted two weeks, but they arrived back in Iowa with the car stuffed to the ceiling with spuds, a supply that carried them through to better times. Ernst supplies her trademark illustrations, framed on pages the same shade as brown paper bags, and suggesting snapshots in an album; the spare prose becomes captions to the events unfolding in each scene. This could be a useful opener for encouraging children to explore their own family histories, especially when they learn that the author was eight years old when she wrote down her story for a bookstore writing contest.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0792269462
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: National Geographic