In the mid-1800s, twelve-year-old Nathan journeys from his farm on the Ohio frontier to Western Pennsylvania to rescue a friend held captive by the owners of a freak show.
After stealing a dead man's boots, a poor wandering bagpiper uses them to play a trick on an unfriendly farmer but then finds the trick turned back on him.
Unable to cope with the financial ruin caused by the Great Depression, Frances's father has taken his own life. Sad and bewildered, Frances cashes in the railroad ticket that would have carried her to her aunt's home, trades in her dress for trousers and a cap, and hits the rails as a hobo called Frankie Blue. With Stewpot, another young hobo, as her guide, Frankie learns to sneak on and off trains, find food, and protect herself. Then Stewpot gets sick, and Frankie realizes that the reality of life on the rails is far different from her romantic notions.
Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady are so poor they have just one of everything to share - one potato a day, one chair, one blanket full of holes, and one gold coin for a rainy day. After digging up the last potato in their patch, Mr. O'Grady comes upon a big black object. It's a pot - no ordinary pot, for what they soon discover is that whatever goes into it comes out doubled! Suddenly the O'Gradys aren't destitute anymore. But what they really long for is one friend apiece. Can the magic pot give them that? This retelling of a Chinese folktale pays tribute to the author's Irish heritage, and to the joys of an old marriage, new friendships, and the impulse to share. Using pen and gouache, the artist shows the "simple" characters in all their winning complexity. One Potato, Two Potato is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
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