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Nory Ryan's Song

(Nory Ryan #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,341 ratings  ·  346 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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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,341 ratings  ·  346 reviews

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Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those wanting to learn more about the potato famine.
We read this hoping to find out more about the potato famine, which when you read the fact that twice the amount of food needed by the starving people was shipped out, stolen by the English would be more accurately called a genocide than a famine, I think that calling it a famine is offensive. We certainly learnt lots about the awful life the Irish people endured, as if living on potatoes wasn't bad enough, with the potatoes lost by blight it was limpets and seaweed if you were lucky. This book ...more
Jul 15, 2016 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!!
Jul 04, 2012 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
Vicky Sang
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book I was reading for the realistic non fiction was Nory Ryan's Song. This book connects to A Long Walk To Water in many differnet ways. In Nory Ryan's song, it mostly talked about how little water their land had. It talked about lost families, about the protagonist, Nory, who had to leave her sister. She loved her family and friends, but some of them where forced to leave because of the war. It was a sad, tragic story. Nory and the rest of her family didn't have enough food and water, they ...more
Feb 27, 2011 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
Linda Lipko
Mar 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
In Ireland, 1845, life is brutal for those lacking in resources. The potato famine occurred, destroying a crop that sustained the poor. This is a small, but mighty book, and analogous to the character, it becomes a wonderful YA book that teaches the plight of the poor in Ireland and their desire to find a way out of their country to the land of plenty. Families dreamed of affording the price of tickets to come to America, and Nory Ryan's family is no exception.
The main character is young and res
Conan Tigard
Nov 13, 2015 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
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast read and fascinating. It made me want to know more about the Irish Potato Famine.
Kimberly Brown
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very moving story, I think continuing the series could be helpful to kids. For those wanting a deeper understanding, the non-fiction book Black Potatoes is an excellent companion.
Jul 18, 2010 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 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 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 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 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.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is the first book I've read that tells about the Irish potato famine. Giff brings up a lot of good points about what was happening duirng that time in history. I would have liked to see this story fleshed out more, so the reader can connect with her characters. This story doesn't go deep enough, yet is interesting and informative.
Jul 10, 2008 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 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.

Erin Fitzpatrick
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nory Ryan’s Song by Patricia Reilly Giff is a fiction book. This book takes place in 1845 in Ireland. One of the main characters, Nory is a 12 year old girl. She’s sweet, caring, and would do anything for her family. Another main character is Anna Donnelly. Anna is a mysterious, calm, and seems scary. Throughout the story Nory doesn’t really change that much. Nory is still outgoing, caring, and sweet. Anna is uncovered a little bit by Nory. Nory sees that Anna is nice, caring, and takes cares of ...more
Abbey Jenkins
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
Nory Ryan's Song is a great historical fiction book. This book took place in Ireland where Nory and her family lived in a small house together in a very close community. The book starts with Nory's older sister getting married and moving to America with her new husband. They all want to go to America as well one day, but they do not have the money to do so yet. Nory still has a younger brother and sister at home. She also has her "granda" at home. Her father is away trying to earn some money for ...more
Hannah Worthen
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story was set in Ireland in crisis from the overbearing control of the English. The main character, Nory Ryan, set the tone of the novel throughout. She was a young and sensitive narrator who allowed a younger point of view to a piece of old Irish history. As Nory showed us her relationships with her family and friends it allowed us to see how emotional and close her life was to the people around her. She became best friends with the neighborhood healer who was frightening at first but real ...more
Jerry Jennings
Immigration is in the news here in America. We often hear is said that we are a country of immigrants. I believe today's children will benefit from opportunities to read and connect with stories of families and young people who immigrated to America.
Nory Ryan's Song by Patricia Reilly Giff is the first of three books Giff wrote about Nory. It takes place in 1845. Nory's family has lived on the coast of Ireland for generations and do to several conditions is experiencing very, very hard times. T
Mariah Schoenborn
In this historical fiction novel, Nory and her family face starvation during the black potato famine of 1845 that affected all of Ireland. Meanwhile, as families starve and many others flee to America, a cruel English Lord seeks to take the land they leave behind. The land the Irish have owned for generations. How will they survive? Is there hope for Nory's people? Will Nory remember the songs of her people in the midst of her fear? This story is powerful and exciting! I can't wait to include th ...more
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nory Ryan's Song, written for middle age children, is a quick read for an adult, but if you know little of the Irish potato famine that began in 1845, it will whet your appetite to know more.

I read the book because I have several students reading it, and I wanted to be able to have meaningful conversation with them about the characters. There are a good many conversations that could be had: friendship loyalty, compassion, injustice, bravery, judging others by what one thinks he/she sees, the sur
Christine Stobbe
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was an interesting look at life in Ireland at the beginning of the Potato Famine. It depicts a level of poverty and desperation that most of us cannot begin to comprehend. We think we're hungry when supper is an hour later than usual; we have never been even close to the start of starvation. The book begins slowly but picks up as it moves along — some tear-jerker moments, particularly when reading aloud. The book leaves the reader with questions about what will happen to the characters ...more
Well-written and compelling story of the impact of overbearing English rule along with the Irish potato famine on a young girl, her family, and town. Extremely well researched by the author who has a very personal connection which she explains in an afternote. Some of my ancestors, and all of my husband's, are Irish, though as far as I know not as personally affected by the famine, yet it's still fascinating and shocking. The blight spread surprisingly quickly, and the English landowners were me ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Reading books intended for children and young adults can be difficult because I am not the intended audience therefore my opinion lacks some value. I liked this story and the topic. It was both sweet and full of fascinating information. But it was also boring and I wonder if I found it boring what a young middle school/junior high student might thing about it.
Again, I can't emphasize the importance of history and introducing that history to young people in a way that makes them want to know more
May 28, 2017 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.
This book was hard to read because it was so sad--but I was glad in the end I did and because it is meant for children, all ends well. (That is my favorite). Patch, who is so hungry throughout the book is the same age as my son, and so I saw him throughout the story-- and was so grateful I did not have to see him hungry when the book was through. How grateful it made me! I want my kids to read it, so they can feel be reminded of their good fortune and I hope--feel grateful.
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Historical Fiction!!! This books confirms that. Prior to reading this book, I knew nothing about the Potato famine in Ireland. After reading this book, I did some research. I discovered that Patricia Reilly Giff was very accurate in her writing. To pack so much historical information is such a short book is a gift. This would be a great book to read-aloud to children. It would bring a great discussion.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a touching story of what life was like for the rural Irish famiy during the difficult times of the 1800's famine. The story allows you into their life. This allows the reader to better feel their pain. I found the character development was excellent. For students who read this additional information about this time.
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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

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