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Nory Ryan's Song (Nory Ryan, #1)
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Nory Ryan's Song (Nory Ryan #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  2,974 Ratings  ·  302 Reviews
Nory Ryan's family has lived on Maidin Bay on the west coast of Ireland for generations, raising a pig and a few chickens, planting potatoes, getting by. Every year Nory's father goes away on a fishing boat and returns with the rent money for the English lord who owns their cottage and fields, the English lord bent upon forcing the Irish from their land so he can tumble th ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Yearling (first published September 12th 2000)
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Jul 15, 2016 Wilma rated it really liked it
Prachtig, aangrijpend verhaal over Nory Ryan. Zij weet het gezin op het Ierse platteland in leven te houden tijdens de vreselijke jaren 1845-1851, de jaren van An Gorta Mor, De Grote Hongersnood.
Ik heb het verhaal in één ruk uitgelezen!!
Feb 27, 2011 L11_Page rated it liked it
I was disappointed with this historical fiction book. The premise was interesting enough - Ireland's Potato Famine of 1845-1852 and the indifference of England during that period. I also enjoyed reading that the author, Patricia Reilly Giff, has 6 great grandparents who lived through the famine. However, the story dragged on too long. 12 year old protagonist Nory is responsible for her family (Grandfather, 3 year old brother and 14 year old sister) when her oldest sister leaves for America with ...more
Jul 04, 2012 K. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people looking for multicultural books
Read aloud 12/13 year contender.

Searing. A little too much for the younger kids in my audience, but should be read by anyone over, let's randomly say 10 or 11? Especially kids who turn up noses at good food placed consistently before them?!!

Beautifully, gorgeously written. The passage of time was a little obscure, but I wonder if that's what it would be like if one was truly starving? A little fuzzy around the edges?

Nory is a beautiful character. Actually, they all were. Giff did a great job
Conan Tigard
Nov 13, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it
Being an American Irishman, I knew little to nothing about the Irish Potato Famine that started in 1845. But after reading Nory Ryan's Song, I feel I know quite a great deal about the subject now. In the story, Lord Cunningham is a brutal Lord who cares absolutely about the people under his care. The poor Irish farmers can barely scrape by with a meager existence living off of the land.

Nory Ryan is a wonderful character who does anything to survive starvation. Patricia Reilly Giff does a brillia
Jul 18, 2010 Amalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stayed up all night crying with this one. Giff is an award winning author who gives us a strong, complex heroine to love and cheer. Nory is a 12 year old girl living in Ireland at the time of the potato famine. Like most 12 year olds, she is a mix of innocence and maturity; she is full of the optimism and idealism of her youth.

As the story unfolds,we watch as Nory must face the often harsh reality of her situation. We see her courage, and her spirit, her compassion and her determination shine
Feb 10, 2011 Dotty rated it liked it
In Ireland in 1800’s the land is owned by a few wealthy landowners who exact their rent in potatoes. Would rather run the people off and have sheep grazing
Nory’s father is at sea trying to earn money to take the family away from Ireland. Nory’s sister, Maggie, has immigrated to New York. Nory and her siblings are living with their Granda. As they wait a terrible blight comes on the potatoes. Now they have no potatoes for rent and no potatoes for food. Then word comes there is a package at the po
Dec 04, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
1. Nory's family lives in Ireland on a small farm. Her father goes away every year and returns with enough rent money for the year. However, one year, the potatoes they rely on for food aren't growing, and Nory has to try and find food and help her family survive the famine.
2. Grades 4-7
3. History, Literature Circle
4. Students who like historical fiction will enjoy this.
5/6. This could be a great book to use in a historical literature circle to compare historical fiction and actual accounts of h
Karen Hogan
May 08, 2013 Karen Hogan rated it really liked it
Seriously, have you ever been truly hungry? I thought I was hungry, the one day I had to fast before surgery. Reading This YA book will make you see the potato famine in Ireland, through the eyes of young Nory Ryan. You will realize how cozy we live, compared to our Irish ancestors, many who starved to death. This book is for the young reader in all of us... It will make you realize how we take a full stomach for granted...
Allie C
Sep 22, 2009 Allie C rated it it was amazing
I gave this book four stars because it is slow starting at first but in the middle of the book it gets really really good. It makes you not want you to put it down. Like when Nory was walking back from town with a package in her hand, and then some man was following her and then he pushed her to the ground and then took the package from her.To me that is very interesting.This book makes you feel like you are one of the main charaters.
Jul 10, 2008 rivka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to rivka by: Lisa Vegan
Does a marvelous job of capturing the Irish potato famine from the eyes of a young woman. Like all of Giff's heroines, Nory Ryan has courage and inner strength.

While the ending was fairly satisfactory, I would have liked another chapter or two continuing the story.
Patti Barber
May 17, 2016 Patti Barber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book haunted my dreams - how did my ancestors survive this horrible time in history? I would love to know their personal stories.

May 28, 2017 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
In Ireland in 1849, the Ryan family struggles to keep their land out of the hand of the English Lord Cunningham. Da has been working on a ship to earn money, while the rest of the family maintains the family farm. But it is a daily struggle and what keeps them all going is the dream of going to America. Maggie is the first to go, marrying her sweetheart and sailing away. Then, the worst thing imaginable happens: the potato crop dies.
Katherine Niemi
Dec 06, 2016 Katherine Niemi rated it liked it
Shelves: ed-230-books
A young girl must persevere with her family during the beginning of the potato famine in Ireland. An unfair landlord is another obstacle Nory must face. She must grow up a little faster and help her family during this tough time. This book provides a new view of the Irish potato famine, from those who couldn't afford to come to the states.
Rachel Smith
May 20, 2017 Rachel Smith rated it it was ok
Love that it's based on things that actually happened. However, I hate that it's so sad! And that the ending doesn't really resolve things.
Dominick Marshall
Jun 11, 2017 Dominick Marshall rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. It was sad through and through but always kept you interested and waiting for those brief happy moment for you to cherish them for as long as possible.
Feb 28, 2017 Kaydee rated it it was amazing
I adore this author's writing. This story is an excellent, middle-grade work of fiction that sheds light on the desperation that comes with being a refugee. A little too sentimental, but still relevant and recommended.
Nory Ryan and her family have always been poor. Especially because of the English imperialists which have been ruling their country while taking away homes and anything they could possibly find if somebody didn't pay their monthly rent on time. But life wasn't so bad for Nory, there were her older sisters that she always looked up to, a boy called Sean and the songs she sang. But one day, her sister, Maggy and her fiance decide to move to America while her dad is on a trip to earn money for rent ...more
The most recent book I read was Nory Ryan’s Song by Patricia Reilly Giff. I’ll be honest, I only picked this book up at a used bookstore this summer because I remembered reading it when I was younger and I loved it. Granted I had originally read this book when I was about 9, so my memories of it have had 9 years to be romanticized in my head. In particular I remember listening to one album repeatedly while I was reading this book and its sequels. Now whenever I hear those songs I can’t help but ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Farrah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
The book is about a girl named Nory Ryan and her family who live in Ireland. Her oldest sister Maggie and her husband leave for America in the begining of the book. Her family makes most of their money off growing potatoes and the money her father makes working on a fishing boat.Midway through the beginning of the book the potato famine happens. This is where all the potatos have gone bad and cannot be eaten. This causes many people to starve throughout Ireland. The book made me feel mixed emoti ...more
Candace Louie
Jan 25, 2011 Candace Louie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was one of the first historical fiction books I ever read, and it made a lasting impression, over at least...six or seven years. probably nine years. I've forgotten most of the books that I've just read over a month ago. Maybe it was just the idea of the great depression, or that I was obsessed with country living, and being poor. (I was one of those children that liked role playing. I yearned to be an orphan. Not really, it seemed like such an interesting thing. Carrying on.)But over the yea ...more
Maria Tag
Feb 07, 2017 Maria Tag rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one really
Recommended to Maria by: my mom
Shelves: sad-books
This was a....... fine book. Just fine. It was nothing incredibly special, and given the rave reviews I expected that it would be. The main plot is the Can'tRememberTheName family's plight in the potato famine. One sibling ( can't remember her name either!) is able to go to America.... and the others are stuck in the Land of Rotting Potatoes. LOL- That's not the official name of it. But the potatoes get a disease or something ( ugh, I must sound awful, since I can't remember much about this boo ...more
This was for the "For St. Patrick's Day read a book set by an Irish author, set it Ireland, or has an Irish main character" in my 2009 Book Challenge. Well, the book met all 3 conditions. (Does that mean I get extra points!?) I think this was actually a perfect book to read for St. Patrick's Day. It helped me more clearly envision what a part of history that I'm familiar with might have been like. And it was a lot scarier and more sorrowful than I've ever imagined it before. The first chapter ha ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Cookav rated it it was amazing
Nory Ryan lives in Maiden Bay. It's the town she has known for just about her whole life. But when the potato famine strikes again, the same famine that had killed many people years before, they have to find out how to support themselves to stay alive. But the famine isn't the only problem. The English are currently ruling Ireland, and the landlords are not kind to the families. If they don't pay, their houses are taken down and they are simply sent to find a "better life" which can't be easily ...more
Ava C
May 27, 2016 Ava C rated it it was amazing
Nory Ryan lives in Maiden Bay. It's the town she has known for just about her whole life. But when the potato famine strikes again, the same famine that had killed many people years before, they have to find out how to support themselves to stay alive. But the famine isn't the only problem. The English are currently ruling Ireland, and the landlords are not kind to the families. If they don't pay, their houses are taken down and they are simply sent to find a "better life" which can't be easily ...more
Abby Johnson
Jul 01, 2007 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Nory Ryan is content with her life, waiting for her Da to come back with money from his fishing expeditions, dreaming about the day that they'll all move to Brooklyn, New York, America and be free from hunger and walk on streets paved with diamonds. She helps take care of her younger brother and they are content, if a bit hungry. Then comes the day that she realizes that the potato crops are black with rot. Her oldest sister announces that she's leaving to Brooklyn with her fiancee and now Nory ...more
Jason Allen
Jun 11, 2013 Jason Allen rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-356
This book was interesting, but honestly, it didn't grab my attention. I think the issue was simply that I found it very difficult to relate to the character, and probably to their situation in general. I did find the character mostly likeable, with all of her flaws and weaknesses, but also her willingness to work and overcome those weaknesses. In that sense, I felt that the character had several very admirable traits-so the lack of attachment I felt was the real difficulty I had with it.

I would
Natalie Waddell-Rutter
Sep 18, 2016 Natalie Waddell-Rutter rated it it was amazing
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Apr 06, 2010 Jmcooke rated it liked it
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Mar 23, 2016 WinnieTheSioux rated it it was ok
This novel had the bones of a good story. But like the characters, the book is hungry for more. So many ideas are touched upon and just left just hanging. Entire events would be told in two or three sentences. Nory goes from being scared of an area "magic" woman to being her confidante/mentee, to being a expert herbalist in less than a chapter. Without a clear understanding of the passage of time it seems as though the family goes from having plenty of food to the brink of starvation overnight. ...more
Set against the bleak and brutal backdrop of the Irish Potato Famine of 1845, Nory Ryan's Song is loosely based on the author's relatives lives as they dealt with the indifferent English government, the blight of the potato crop, and a gnawing hunger. Nory, strong and capable Nory, tries to hold her family together and supply them with any food she can find, as they wait for their father to come back from sailing the sea to earn wages to support the family. Little by little, her family and those ...more
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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan ...more
More about Patricia Reilly Giff...

Other Books in the Series

Nory Ryan (2 books)
  • Maggie's Door (Nory Ryan #2)

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