What's for Lunch?

Overview

Whether their school is under a banyan tree, in a dusty tent held up with poles or in a sturdy brick structure in the heart of a bustling city, all children need a healthy lunch to be able to learn and grow.
Good food nourishes both our bodies and our brains. It's one of the basic building blocks of life.
 
In What's for Lunch, Andrea Curtis reveals the variety and inequality to be found in the food ...

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Overview

Whether their school is under a banyan tree, in a dusty tent held up with poles or in a sturdy brick structure in the heart of a bustling city, all children need a healthy lunch to be able to learn and grow.
Good food nourishes both our bodies and our brains. It's one of the basic building blocks of life.
 
In What's for Lunch, Andrea Curtis reveals the variety and inequality to be found in the food consumed by young people in typical school lunches from thirteen countries around the world, including Japan, Kenya, Russia, United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Afghanistan.
In some countries, the meals are nutritious and well-balanced. In others they barely satisfy basic nutrition standards.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This survey of foods that inter-national children eat for school lunch emphasizes differences while pointing to the interconnectivity of world ecology. Visually, the focus is on the food, which appears in vivid photographs (often on lunch trays), joined by large blocks of text broken up with modest cartoons of schoolchildren. In Nantes, France, lunch consists of salad, roast chicken or fish, vegetables, cheese, and fresh fruit or a tart; in Tokyo, it’s sardines and rice. In Afghanistan, children eat “high-energy biscuits” provided by the World Food Programme. Curtis crafts a holistic conversation about health, poverty, and sustainability: the availability of free school lunch in Brazil has helped decrease child malnutrition by 73%, while processed foods in American school lunches (“Brand name food such as Domino’s Pizza and KFC are sold at more than one-third of U.S. public schools”) contribute to obesity in children. Ages 8–up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—From an American cafeteria to a refugee camp in Kenya, there's a consistent format to almost every spread, which features a meal from a specific city: story/origin of the lunch on the left, color photograph on the right. These simple visuals, like the single scoop of lentils served on a sheet of notebook paper in Lucknow, India, speak volumes. Though not in-depth, the explanations and diagrammed facts surrounding the pictures can provide many points of discussion about cultural differences, poverty, nutrition, world hunger, and activism.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
"Organic," "sustainable" and "food miles" all appear in the comprehensive glossary of this book, whose simple title and cover photograph imply a basic approach to the international topic of food. This very political book, biased toward food equity, explains why certain foods are eaten in certain countries and why school lunches are important. They fill various needs, from the teaching of courtesy and table manners in France and Japan to the supply of basic nutrients for Somali children in refugee-camp schools. Efforts to improve children's eating habits, curb obesity, encourage use of local crops and provide food to students with limited economic resources are discussed. As the book is from Canada, naturally there are some references to that country in many of the comparisons. Though published in a seemingly picture-book format, the text is complex. Most two-page spreads describe school lunchtime in an individual country, with a cartoonish illustration on the left and a large photograph of a typical meal on the right with numbered arrows pointing to particular elements. Lengthy captions are keyed to each number. Small globe images in each spread point out countries, but larger maps and a bibliography would be useful. "The Message to Parents, Teachers and Students" provides project ideas. Adults may have to force-feed this purposive book to those not yet committed to the important causes outlined here. (Nonfiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889954823
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/15/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 701,871
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea Curtis won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction for her book Into the Blue: Family Secrets and The Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck. She has contributed to various journals and newspapers including The Globe and Mail, Canadian Geographic, Chatelaine, Utne Reader and Today's Parent. This is her first work for younger readers.
Andrea lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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