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Description

Product Description

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’s fridge at home is full of nutritious food, the fridge at Maddi’s house is empty. Sofia learns that Maddi’s family doesn’t have enough money to fill their fridge and promises Maddi she’ll keep this discovery a secret. But because Sofia wants to help her friend, she’s faced with a difficult decision: to keep her promise or tell her parents about Maddi’s empty fridge. Filled with colorful artwork, this storybook addresses issues of poverty with honesty and sensitivity while instilling important lessons in friendship, empathy, trust, and helping others. A call to action section, with six effective ways for children to help fight hunger and information on antihunger groups, is also included.

From School Library Journal

Gr 1–3—In her debut picture book, Brandt addresses an important issue: childhood hunger. Sofia''s best friend does not have food at home. After taking on the climbing wall at the park, the girls go to Maddi''s apartment. A hungry Sofia looks for a snack and is surprised to find a lone carton of milk in the refrigerator. Maddi admits that her mom does not have enough money to go to the grocery store and makes Sofia promise to keep it secret. At home, Sofia''s mother serves a delicious supper of fish and rice. The refrigerator is filled with good things to eat, including her brother''s favorite treat, Cheesy Pizza Bombs. Worried about her friend, Sofia smuggles food to school, but fish and eggs are "not good for backpacks." Each afternoon, Sofia tries to follow the nimble Maddi to the top of the climbing wall, but it''s too high for her. Maddi encourages her, lending her a hand, and Sofia finally climbs the wall. Wanting to do something for Maddi, Sofia tells her mother about the empty fridge. Together, they go to the store to buy groceries. To Sofia''s relief, Maddi is not angry about the broken promise, and the two families share a supper of Cheesy Pizza Bombs. Vogel''s digital illustrations portraying the smiling, wide-eyed girls in their city neighborhood are filled with warmth and a sense of community. An endnote provides suggestions for helping friends who have empty refrigerators and directs young readers to a companion website, MaddisFridge.com.—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA

Review

“I really admire Lois Brandt for writing about those in need without making this an ‘issue’ book. It’s first and foremost a story—and a good one.” —Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor–winning author,Hattie Big Sky

"This tasty morsel can certainly inspire your superheroes soar to new heights and help combat hunger along the way!" —Barbara Gruener, 



"This title is notable. The bright, friendly illustrations soften the topic while still conveying the characters’ difficult feelings, such as worry and embarrassment. Gentle, age-appropriate humor releases the tension, keeping readers engaged as Sofia discovers how to best help her friend. . . . A thoughtful and well-executed look at the challenge of childhood hunger." — Kirkus Reviews

Maddi''s Fridge has been chosen to be included on the grades 3-4 Great Texas Mosquito List for the 2019-2020 school year. The Great Texas Mosquito List is shared among all the schools, highlighted in the school and public libraries, and used by students to compete in the annual Great Texas Mosquito List Name That Book competition. In addition to the competition, the book is also a contender for the Great Texas Mosquito List Student Choice Award.


"The single greatest achievement of Maddi''s Fridge is [that it] delivers its message directly, through the intriguing story embellished with artful illustrations, without preaching or political commentary. Maddi''s Fridge is a book that works on a child''s awareness level, with no intervening adult judgements to cloud the basic reaction of human compassion. It also tells children exactly what they can do to help. Maddi''s Fridge is a wonderful book for all kinds of children, whether they are hungry or not." — Midwest Book Review 


"Filled with colourful artwork, this storybook addresses issues of poverty with honesty and sensitivity while instilling important lessons in friendship, empathy, trust, and helping others." —toronto4kids.com


"In her debut picture book, Brandt addresses an important issue: childhood hunger. . . . Vogel''s digital illustrations portraying the smiling, wide-eyed girls in their city neighborhood are filled with warmth and a sense of community." —Linda L. Walkins, School Library Journal


"This book introduces a topic that is rarely explored in picture books, and it would be a welcome addition to larger picture book collections." —Melissa Morwood,  BayViews


"Cartoon-style illustrations, depicting a vibrant and diverse city neighborhood, help soften the difficult issues raised . . . . Food insecurity, childhood hunger, and poverty are treated with tenderness and humor." —April Mazza,  Booklist


"While the issue of childhood hunger is serious, the story is neither preachy nor patronizing. It is instead silly and sweet and strong. It is brilliant and appealing. That’s because it is, at heart, a story about friends. It’s about Maddi helping Sofia climb the wall, and Sofia helping Maddi get enough to eat." —catherinespascha.com


"This is a big-issue book, handled delicately. It’s not preachy or judgmental, and has a sweet story about friendship first and foremost. The funny parts with yucky food hidden in a backpack provide some levity in what could be a very serious book. It provides a great starting point for discussions about hunger, charity, and talking to an adult when something seems wrong with a little friend. The illustrations are fun and the language is accessible. A perfectly sweet book about a serious topic. Very well done!" —Denise Mealy, thechildrensbookreview.com

Maddi''s Fridge was included on Sightline Institute''s kid''s list of "The Books We Love Best in 2018." —


" Maddi''s Fridge is a compassionate, hopeful, giving, funny picture book about friendship and real world family issues. A rare gem!" —Carrie Charley Brown, writersrumpus.com

About the Author

Lois Brandt is a writing teacher who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa. She lives in Issaquah, Washington. Vin Vogel is a Brazilian illustrator and designer who has illustrated more than 45 children’s and young adult books in his native Portuguese and French. He lives in New York City.

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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 54.9 out of 5
430 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

K. B.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Finally a book that addresses a serious subject and a funny and relatable way.
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2018
This book is fantastic. It teaches a very important lesson without hitting kids over the head with the message. In short, the two girls are friends who play together every day and while visiting Maddi''s home the other girl realizes that Maddi has no food. From that point... See more
This book is fantastic. It teaches a very important lesson without hitting kids over the head with the message. In short, the two girls are friends who play together every day and while visiting Maddi''s home the other girl realizes that Maddi has no food. From that point the other girl tries to help with hilarious results, until finally she involves her mom. My son really enjoyed the story, laughed at the kids antics, and easily understood the message. As an added bonus, the author explains basis nutrition in the story line in a way that kids can understand. Also, I love that despite being food impoverished, Maddi is a very strong character and good role model and friend.
7 people found this helpful
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Dustin Moore
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Sweet book with an important message
Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2019
We bought this book to try and help our 3.5 year old understand that not everyone has her level of privilege. She is slightly on the young side to grasp the totality of the concept, particularly of someone not having enough to eat, but after reading it a few times, she... See more
We bought this book to try and help our 3.5 year old understand that not everyone has her level of privilege. She is slightly on the young side to grasp the totality of the concept, particularly of someone not having enough to eat, but after reading it a few times, she understood the major themes in the book, and the different lives of the characters. The humor in the book is a nice way to walk a fine line on a difficult topic with a youngster. This is a great book and I would recommend it.
3 people found this helpful
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Kay M Anstrom
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An important story about empathy and friendship.
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2020
I just got this book yesterday and I read this to my 4 year old daughter. I was fighting back tears at the end. It was a really well written story with pictures to support it. It combines a serious subject in a way that is understandable and relatable to a child. It teaches... See more
I just got this book yesterday and I read this to my 4 year old daughter. I was fighting back tears at the end. It was a really well written story with pictures to support it. It combines a serious subject in a way that is understandable and relatable to a child. It teaches both empathy and friendship in a thoughtful way. I was so proud that my daughter thought she should share her food with her friend when she saw how much food she had to share. It was the first book she asked to read tonight and she’d ask me as we were reading, if certain foods were ok for a backpack.
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Heather G.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
poignant but uplifting
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2016
This was a very young child friendly way to introduce the concept of want and need. What it means to be hungry and have nothing. Understanding empathy and the power within yourself to make a change. My child had a real eye-opening moment with this book. It launched a whole... See more
This was a very young child friendly way to introduce the concept of want and need. What it means to be hungry and have nothing. Understanding empathy and the power within yourself to make a change. My child had a real eye-opening moment with this book. It launched a whole discussion of "Are there people around us like this?" And, "What can I do?" The way the author takes two very similar girls and shows that they can have two very different background situations which are very much out of their control is heartwrenching but so on point. And too often seen nowadays. I feel this is a book that should be made a childhood must-read.
8 people found this helpful
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amy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
So important
Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2016
This is such a great book to give kids an important introduction into poverty and what that means at such a basic level that kids will understand. There is also an important lesson on keeping secrets and when it''s ok to not. Plus the message on what being a friend means.... See more
This is such a great book to give kids an important introduction into poverty and what that means at such a basic level that kids will understand. There is also an important lesson on keeping secrets and when it''s ok to not. Plus the message on what being a friend means. This book led to many different discussions with my 6 year old. He picked up things in the book that I missed. It really highlights the acceptance and innocence that children have. A serious but feel good book.
2 people found this helpful
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Pmao
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Engaging and Inspiring
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2020
This was a fabulous book. I just read it with my 4-year-old son. It is engaging rather than preachy. It highlights a problem every kid can see is a problem--an empty fridge--and tells it from the perspective of a kid trying to help a friend. The last page includes... See more
This was a fabulous book. I just read it with my 4-year-old son. It is engaging rather than preachy. It highlights a problem every kid can see is a problem--an empty fridge--and tells it from the perspective of a kid trying to help a friend. The last page includes suggestions on how you can help people with empty fridges, and my not-usually-very-empathetic son was immediately inspired to run to our pantry to help. There''s also a side plot emphasizing perseverance, as the hungry kid encourages the fed kid to keep trying to climb the rock wall at the playground. Highly recommend!
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tastefully written about childhood hunger!
Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2016
Excellent book raising awareness about childhood hunger! 2 best friends hang out regularly afterschool and one can''t physically keep up because she has no energy. They end up at her house and there''s not much food in the fridge to which becomes their secret. Everyday the... See more
Excellent book raising awareness about childhood hunger! 2 best friends hang out regularly afterschool and one can''t physically keep up because she has no energy. They end up at her house and there''s not much food in the fridge to which becomes their secret. Everyday the one friend tries to bring food to school in her backpack but the food doesn''t last to share by the time she opens her backpack. Finally she tells her mom the secret and they buy food together for the family. The back of the book gives practical ways of helping impact childhood hunger and raise awareness in your community. We run a backpack program which partners with local schools to serve their chronically hungry students and have purchased one for each library to help show our appreciation. We recently read it to a Girl Scout Troop who came to volunteer in our warehouse and you could have heard a pin drop! Highly recommend.
One person found this helpful
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Mom2Two
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful, moving book about hunger
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2015
This was recommended by the Mighty Girl website, and I think highly of a lot of their recommendations, so I wanted to try it. What a great book! It''s such a great way to introduce the idea of hunger and poverty to kids. There''s no politics, just an awareness of a... See more
This was recommended by the Mighty Girl website, and I think highly of a lot of their recommendations, so I wanted to try it. What a great book! It''s such a great way to introduce the idea of hunger and poverty to kids. There''s no politics, just an awareness of a friend''s hunger and the struggle of how to help. This book has inspired many wonderful conversations with my two daughters, who are 4 and 7, and has also inspired us to look into volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
I can''t recommend this book highly enough.
2 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book to make kids think
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2018
Wanted a book to help the children understand how blessed we are to have food in our fride/cupboards and that not everyone is so lucky. Also in the hope that we can share some of our food with others in need. This book certainly made them think and understand that not...See more
Wanted a book to help the children understand how blessed we are to have food in our fride/cupboards and that not everyone is so lucky. Also in the hope that we can share some of our food with others in need. This book certainly made them think and understand that not everyone can afford essentials like food/drink.
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cho_hwa
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Worth 6 stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 21, 2017
Brilliant book. The story is also really nice about 2 girls growing up in a very urban setting, and how overcoming obstacles and shame makes their friendship even stronger. I had a few inspired discussions with my son (6) about food poverty as well as healthy eating - seems...See more
Brilliant book. The story is also really nice about 2 girls growing up in a very urban setting, and how overcoming obstacles and shame makes their friendship even stronger. I had a few inspired discussions with my son (6) about food poverty as well as healthy eating - seems like a bit of luxury thing after you read the book but it has also meant that burritos have now been added to our menu. Honestly, it''s a great book in every way, the illustrations are also really nice, and there''s a sense of humour throughout that really resonates with kids. I''d give 6 stars happily if that was possible.
One person found this helpful
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Annett
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2015
perfect for us for talking about values, food waste, helping others, and what it means to be poor. I had to read the book by myself at first, so not to get too emotional when reading it with my 5 year old.
One person found this helpful
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Mr A Alban
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2015
Lovely book. Highly recommend to all kids and their best friends. My 6 year old son and I loved it.
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Victoria D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Love this story
Reviewed in Canada on July 7, 2020
Love this book so much. Good lesson on friendship and hardships people including our friends go through sometimes. Discusses secrets and how sometimes they need to be shared. This story was really touching. Strongly recommend.
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