Books and Reviews

The Lunch Thief: A Story of Hunger, Homelessness, and Friendship
Tilbury House Publishers

Scenes from the Light Years
Carnegie Mellon University Press

Midwinter Transport
Carnegie Mellon University Press

Translations of Poems by Rosalia de Castro SUNY Press


Too Hungry to Learn: How to Help Students Facing Food Insecurity

By Barbara Gruener

If you’ve been an educator for any time at all, you’ve probably met this student: Nothing about his physical appearance sets him apart from his classmates . . . Read more

One out of 45 children in the United States will experience homelessness this year. “These all-too-invisible children are also twice as likely as other children to go hungry,” writes Craig Wiesner in his review of The Lunch Thief.

The Lunch Thief was recommended for the elementary grades by Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Today’s Parent, a publication of St. Joseph Communications, has included The Lunch Thief as a resource for discussing with children the subject of food insecurity.

The learning company Reach And Teach has highlighted The Lunch Thief as an opportunity for children to learn about true friendship, homelessness, the impact of natural disasters, hunger, cultural diversity, and other social issues.

In its review, Reach And Teach writes, “We feel that child and family homelessness are issues that need much more attention, and this children’s picture book provides an outstanding opportunity to look at one facet of homelessness most people don’t think about: families who become homeless after disasters like fires, earthquakes, and storms.”

Reach And Teach, based in San Mateo, is dedicated to transforming the world through teachable moments.
— The Corner On Character

Anne Bromley takes you on a sad and happy journey in The Lunch Thief. The title says a lot, but the title is just the beginning . . . . This is a beautiful picture book and I do not want to give away the ending. Be assured your child will learn about giving, asking questions, listening to others, and sharing.
— Friends Journal

This gourmet gem serves up the perfect recipe for a lesson on trustworthiness and empathy. Start with the question: Is stealing always wrong? Then read the book and ask things like this: Does Kevin want to be a lunch thief? What might you do if you were Kevin? Have you ever been in a similar situation? What does Kevin have to do to make things right? Why did Kevin offer Rafael a quarter for his lunch in the end? Will Rafael take the quarter? Why or why not? What consequences, if any, would you give Kevin?
Read more from The Corner On Character . . .

The Lunch Thief teaches empathy, understanding, and helping one another. And gosh do we need more of that within our communities. Bravo for this book.
— Books That Heal Kids

There’s a lot of food for thought in this tasty treasure. Ask students again if stealing is always wrong. Find out if they think Kevin wants to be a lunch thief. What might they do in Kevin’s situation? Would they do anything differently if they were Rafael?
— Character Counts

. . . this entirely credible story of how a thoughtful boy elects to light one candle in response to the larger problem of homelessness and hunger would make an excellent touchstone for class discussion.

The Lunch Thief brings us a gentle reminder of what hunger can drive even children to do and of the kindness and mercy that must be our response.
– School Library Journal

Big on heart, this book helps teach empathy and looking at things from another person’s point of view. This would be a great addition to a classroom or school library . . . The watercolor illustrations are beautifully rendered and add to the feeling of the story.
— Writing on the Sidewalk

What a great lesson is inside the hardcover of this wonderful children’s book. It kindly reminds us that appearances may not always be what they seem. I would highly recommend this book to any child from 6 and up, and would rate it 5 out of 5 stars. The illustrations are colorful and the book is easy to read for 30 pages.
— Reviews From The Heart