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Maddi's Fridge

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  610 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Winner of:
2014 Christopher Award, Books for Young People
2014 ILA Primary Fiction Award
2015 MLA Mitten Award Honor
Human Rights in Children's Literature Honor

With humor and warmth, this children’s picture book raises awareness about poverty and hunger

Best friends Sofia and Maddi live in the same neighborhood, go to the same school, and play in the same park, but while Sofia’
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Flashlight Press
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Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Amazing book, sad and real, your heart will melt.
It addresses poverty, child hunger, compassion, diversity, friendship.
Craig Wiesner
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sofia and Maddi are mini-BFFs, playing together in the park and working up an appetite. Sofia and Maddi race to Maddi's home and Sofia throws open Maddi's fridge to get a snack but... the fridge is bare. In tens of thousands of homes across America, the same would be true. Ashamed, Maddi begs Sofia not to tell anyone. What's Sofia to do when confronted by her best friend being hungry with no food to eat?

This is a lovely, engaging, and important book! I love the joyous way the girls play together
Heather Love
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very approachable picture book dealing with a hard topic. Sofia and Maddi are best friends. They go to school together and spend all day after school running and playing on the playground. One day, after a particularly active day of playing, Sofia gets hungry and runs to Maddi's house for a snack. Once at Maddi's house, though, Sofia discovers that Maddi only has a small carton of milk in her fridge and a few slices of bread in her pantry. Maddi makes Sofia promise not to tell. Sofia is sad fo ...more
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Maddi and Sofia are best friends. They live in the same neighborhood, and go to the same school, because of this, Sofia thinks their lives are the same. One day, she opens Maddi’s fridge and sees that there is no food. Maddi explains that they do not have enough money to buy food and makes Sofia promise not to tell. Sofia tries her best to help Maddi and finally ends up telling her mom what is going on. They then buy food for Maddi’s family to help them out. Maddi is mad that Sofia told, but hap ...more
Emmaline MacBeath
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Alas, another book that brought tears to my eyes! Maddi's fridge is empty. Her friend Sofia swears not to tell. But this ties Sofia's hands so she tries to solve the problem herself by bringing food to Maddi. She finally realizes that Maddi needs more than she can provide and breaks her promise not to tell in order to help Maddi's family.

This book is on a tough subject. But it is told in such a tender manner that it keeps the story light. The friendship between the two girls is beautiful and wh
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow, not what I was expecting - and that's not a bad thing. Maddi and Sofia are best friends. When Sofia looks in Maddi's fridge and sees how empty it is, Maddi is embarrassed and makes Sofia promise not to tell. Sofia tries sneaking her food, but fish or eggs in a backpack - not a good idea. Sofia eventually does tell her mom, and her family brings food to Maddi's house. Everyone needs a little help sometimes.

Very well done for a tough topic. Will be great for discussion in a classroom. Be read
Every parent of preschool to first grade children should read this book to their kiddos. Great way to teach kindness, empathy, relation to others in the real world. 1 in 5 kids are going hungry - show your kids how they can help the one who needs it! My son loved it so much he brought it to school today and asked the teacher right away to read it to him and to read it again at circle time. So nice to see a good story that is realistic yet able to be understood by the youngest generations.
Viviane Elbee
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a longer picture book, best for elementary students or older preschoolers (pre-K, TK).
It introduces the idea of hunger and friends who might have no food in their fridges. The author explains that this story was inspired by her childhood, when she peeked into her best friend's fridge and discovered that it was empty.
Fun illustrations by Vin Vogel.
Kids voted to give this book 5 stars.
Kadijah Harewood
This book seemed a little on the whimsical side in respect to the way that the situation was handled. The idea behind the story was great because you could see the angle the author was trying to take in terms of being respectful of the different experiences people endure - hunger and food shortages being one of them. I did like the fact that it explored resources in your community in terms of the relationships you build when you allow others to know a bit about you personally. Also this story sh ...more
Carrie Charley Brown
How often does a picture book touch your heart enough to bring you to tears? Maddi's Fridge is a compassionate, hopeful, giving, funny picture book about friendship and real world family issues. With so many families living in low-income situations, this book provides the perfect way to teach compassion. I admire the gradual build to a solution and the way that I became the main character, Sofia, while reading. Sofia is thoughtful and her family's dynamic is realistic. The colorful, cartoon-like ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best picture books out there on hunger issues and how to help and knowing how to help.

This book brought tears to my eyes. Exceptionally Written by Lois Brandt, perfectly illustrated by Vin Vogel. Published by Flashlight Press.

#PB #fighthunger #friendship

Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A great book for teaching compassion. I also appreciated the fact that the main character was Hispanic, but was not the one whose family couldn't afford food.
Morgan Dunton
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theme-poverty
I thought this would be a good book to read to a younger grade level because it really emphasizes the importance of friendship through hard times. With the main characters being two young girls, close to the age level of children in the class, it would make the story more personable to the students. Although one girl struggles with poverty, her best friend keeps it a secret and does everything to help out her friend. This book would be good for grade levels K-2.
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

Maddi's fridge has nothing in it except some milk for her little brother. Sofia makes a promise not to tell anyone about Maddi's bare fridge, but she also wants to make sure that her best friend gets some good food. Every day Sofia tries to bring her friend some nutritious food, but it turns out that tuna fish and eggs really don't do well in a hot backpack. Finally, Sofia makes the tough decision to break her promise to Maddi and tell her mother. T
Yanel Plata
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This picture book is about two young girls by the name of Sophia and Maddi, these two girls are best friends and play at the park together from sun up to sun down. One day as they are playing at the park they get hungry and they both run to Maddi’s house, Sophia opens Maddi’s fridge and notices that all there is only a milk carton in there. Sophia asks Maddi what she eats when she’s hungry and Maddi responds that she saves the milk for her brother and they eat bread together. They only have limi ...more
Nicole Strong
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Summary: Lois Brandt’s Maddi’s Fridge addresses the global problem of hunger and poverty. The book begins by Sofia and Maddi playing together, until Sofia gets hungry. Sofia searches through Maddi’s fridge but does not find anything except milk. Maddi begs Sofia not to tell anyone her secret. Each day the girls would go to the climbing wall and Sofia would never be able to reach the top. Each night Sofia would go home and eat dinner with her family. Sofia would pack leftovers from her dinner and ...more
Chandler Lotridge
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Maddi’s Fridge" by Lois Brandt (5 Stars)

Book Summary #7

Summary: "Maddi’s Fridge" by Lois Brandt is a story about two best friends, Maddi and Sofia. These two girls live in the same neighborhood, go to the same school, and because of all of this, Sofia assumes that their lives are practically the same. Sofia soon learns that this is not the case. One day while she is at Maddi’s house, she opens the fridge to find it completely empty. Maddi explains that her family doesn’t have enough money to b
Caryn Caldwell
Maddi and Sofia are the best of friends, so when Sofia sees that Maddi's refrigerator is nearly empty, she's very concerned. However, Sofia does promise her embarrassed best friend that she will keep the situation a secret, and secrets are important. But when Sofia tries to help on her own, the results are less-than-nutritious. Should Sofia break her promise and tell a trusted adult, or let Maddi go hungry?

What a great moral dilemma, and one that can be applied to so many difficult situations th
This is a well written story of two little girls who each have different strengths and very different home lives.

For example, Maddi can climb the rock wall, but Sofia can't. Sofia can run up the stairs faster than Maddi. Maddi only has a tiny bit of milk in her fridge (which she saves for her little brother so he can grow big and strong) and bread to eat, because her family can't afford a lot of food. Sofia's fridge is filled and her family can afford groceries, including special treats like che
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This book does a fantastic job addressing a complex topics that can be sensitive and confusing to kids. In addition to the principle of scarcity of food, I think what is really impressive about the story is that Brandt is also talk about how some secrets should be shared even if it feels like you might be betraying your friend. This isn’t an easy topic to cover and it will prompt good conversation between adult and child.

The other thing I really like at the end of the book is that it gives recom
Age: Kindergarten-2nd grade
Tough Issue: Poverty

The cartoon style will visually pull in a large audience while exposing children to a subject all too relevant in our society but not much talked about. Maddi and Sofia are best friends and love playing at the playground. Sofia is so thirsty one day that she races a reluctant Maddi to Maddi's house. When Sofia opens up the fridge without asking, she finds that Maddi only has one carton of milk--and that's for her little brother. In the end, Sofia te
Mary Kate Garst
Nov 06, 2014 marked it as childrensliterature
Summary: Maddi's Fridge is a touching story about two friends from difference socio-economic classes. Sofia and Maddi are friends at school but one day at Maddi's apartment, Sofia notices the fridge is empty. Maddi makes her promise not to tell and for the next few days Sofia sets out on a failed experiment to bring food to Maddi secretly in her backpack. Eventually she decides to tell her mother who helps her bring groceries to Maddi's house. This story teaches kids about both the significance ...more
Xochitl Rocha
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A picture book about childhood hunger that tells a good story without being didactic. Maddi and Sofia are best friends and one day Sofia finds out that Maddi hardly has any food in her house. Maddi tells Sofia that she cannot tell anyone. So Sofia takes matters into her own hands and each day Sofia tries to bring Maddi something from home but it ends up going bad. She finally is able to give her some leftovers that withstand her backpack. At the end Sofia ends up telling her mom that Maddi doesn ...more
Leslie Rendon
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sophia and Maddi do everything together. Sophia is faced with a difficult decision: to keep Maddi’s promise or tell her parents about Maddi’s empty fridge.
I love this book because it is so simple, but very realistic. Sometimes growing up children have a close friend who is living in poverty, and they are stuck with figuring out what they can do. This book shows a lovely example of what is the right thing to do. This would be a great book to read out loud and discuss it with children. This book
Sara Grochowski
When Sofia discovers the vast differences between her well-stocked family fridge and her friend's Maddi's near-empty fridge, she's determined to help. Though she's promised Maddi she won't tell about the empty fridge, Sofia does what she can to fix the problem, stocking her backpack with fish and eggs. She soon learns that, while fish and eggs are good for kids, they are not good for backpacks. After a bit of trial and error and a realization that Maddi is more important than Sofia's promise not ...more
Maddi's Fridge is a story, by Lois Brandt, cleverly written with repetitive phrases, thoughtful dialogue, and use of symbolism. I love how author, Lois Brandt, incorporates a climbing wall into the story. Sofia's attempt to climb the wall mirrors her attempt to bring food to her friend Maddi. But that's not all. The wall is very symbolic to the story, which you'll just have to read about in this book of friendship. Love the premise of lending a helping hand to those in need without it being too ...more
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book masterfully and delicately introduces young readers to hunger and poverty.

Young Maddi and Sofia are dear friends. Sofia learns that Maddi's fridge is bare and that her mother can't afford to go to the grocery store. After promising not to tell anyone, Sofia compassionately tries to help Sofia by bringing her food and learns in the process about how some foods are more perishable than others. In the end, Sofia realizes that she needs to break her promise to Maddi to get her proper help.
At first glance, I thought it might be a story of friendship and how people put favorite photos on their fridge. It seems odd that the child with poorer nutrition is more physically adept than the other girl - which sort of shoots holes in the 'good nutrition makes healthy children' posit. In spite of the good writing style, I cannot imagine reading this to a classroom of children who may have even less in their fridge than Maddi's family.
Miranda Middleton
This Book is about:
-Helping friends in need
-Breaking a secret if it's going to get the 2nd party out of "risk"

I would definitely use this book in my classroom! The illustrations are wonderful and the dialogue is so realistic. I like the friendship between these two girls and I think anyone could take a lesson from it.
I could use it for a unit about: friendship, making a difference, and ethics.
Jenni Frencham
This is a great "diverse" read that shows a kid who only has milk in her fridge. Sometimes we forget about socioeconomic diversity, but it is also important to show that difference in literature. I remember when our fridge looked like Maddi's; we had milk, bread, and peanut butter, and when we needed more food, we had to roll the pennies and nickels from the change jar in order to buy anything.

This is a great book to use for introducing the concept of helping others. :) Recommended.
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Years ago, Lois peeked into her best friend's refrigerator and found empty shelves and one small carton of milk; her friend's mother didn't have enough money to buy food. Maddi's Fridge, Lois's first picture book, is the result of that moment. When she is not working on her own projects, Lois teaches writers of all ages to tell the stories that are close to their hearts. Lois lives near Seattle, W ...more
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