Thursday, September 1, 2022

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Hero for the Hungry: The Life and Work of Norman Borlaug by Peggy Thomas, illustrated by Sam Kalda

Welcome to the Hero for the Hungry Blog Tour!

Follow along all week for exclusive guest posts from author Peggy Thomas, plus 5 chances to win Hero for the Hungry (on shelves 9/1)!

Hero For the Hungry Resource List
by Peggy Thomas

Like most nonfiction authors, I dive deep into my research. There is just so much to learn besides the basics. For Hero for the Hungry, I not only had to learn about the man, Norman Borlaug, but I also had to understand the times he lived in, the anatomy of wheat, how to breed plants, characteristics of bread, etc. Of course, not everything fit into the storyline, and there was too much to put in the backmatter, so I created a resource list of related books, videos, games, activities and even a rap song sure to rev up even the most reluctant reader. 

1. The Kid Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews and illustrated by Philip Hurst is a picture book, but it reveals how Norman was influenced by others like Henry A. Wallace and George Washington Carver. 

2. Play It Hard - Norman Borlaug 100 Year Tribute is a short clip of Norman discussing his work. It was created by the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement and Biology Fortified to celebrate what would have been Norm’s 100th birthday. Although the dialogue has been jazzed up, you’ll get to hear Norm’s voice and sense his enthusiasm. 

3. Wheat Ag Mag is a downloadable pdf all about growing wheat in America. Get the stats, the facts, or purchase a stack for the classroom.  

4. Wheat Crossing is an Ag Science video that I watched several times to learn the step-by-step process of crossing two different varieties of wheat. While you watch, just imagine Norm having to do this thousands of times!

5. Enjoying the Harvest lesson plan includes milling your own flour. Kids will be amazed at how much grain is needed to make enough flour for a loaf of bread. 

6. Loaves of Fun by Elizabeth Harbison is a hands-on history of bread. Once you’ve milled your own flour try baking one of the recipes in this book. 

7. My American Farm is a collection of games created by the American Farm Bureau for grades Pre-K to 5. Explore poultry, ag technology, international trade, water conservation, ranching, and much more. I particularly liked Seeds to Shirt. 

8. The Story of Wheat For Kids is a downloadable pdf from the Nebraska Wheat Board. It includes coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, and other activities. 

9. Norman Borlaug’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech can be used as a call to action to follow in Norm’s footsteps and end world hunger. 

10. The Norman Borlaug Rap was created by MC Tractor and DJ Redd. Listen and follow along with the lyrics. It’s catchy! 

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

Can a quiet Iowa farm boy grow up to change the world? Norman Ernest Borlaug did. Norman Borlaug was the Father of the Green Revolution, saved millions from starvation, and won the Nobel Prize.

How? Science, true American grit, and a passion for helping those in need.

Born in 1914, raised on a small farm, and educated in a one-room schoolhouse, Norman Borlaug learned to work hard and excelled in sports. Against odds and adversity, Norm studied forestry and eventually became a plant scientist, dedicating his life’s work to ending world hunger. Working in obscurity in the wheat fields of Mexico, Norm and his team developed disease-resistant plants, and when widespread famine threatened India and Pakistan, Norm worked alongside poor farmers and battled bureaucracy to save millions from mass starvation. Often called the “Father of the Green Revolution,” Norm helped lay the groundwork for agricultural technological advances that alleviated world hunger. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1970. He was a true hero for the hungry.

Can pursuing science help you and your future generation? This book is sure to inspire young learners!

Sidebars include topics such as a deeper dive into the science Norm was using to produce new and better wheat varieties, agronomy, wheat genes, stem rust, nutrients and more. Back matter includes a timeline of events and discoveries and a call to action for readers to use science to solve problems and do small things to help with hunger and food waste.

Hero for the Hungry is excellent for a science class learning about genetics, an agriculture class studying agronomy, or a history or English class looking for a well-written biography on a hero scientist.

About the Author

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Peggy Thomas has always loved true stories, and can’t remember a time when she wasn’t thrilled to find animal bones, musty encyclopaedias, or a history plaque by the side of the road. It's that same curiosity that has fueled the research and writing of more than twenty nonfiction books for children.

With a master’s degree in anthropology, Peggy explores a wide range of subjects, blending history and science to create award-winning titles. Her most recent books include Lincoln Clears a Path (Calkins Creek, 2021) and Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car (Calkins Creek, 2019), which earned NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2020 Best Book from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, and Book of the Year from the Henry Ford Heritage Association.

Peggy is a member of SCBWI, a blogger for Nonfiction Ninjas, and on the creative team behind Nonfiction Fest, a month-long celebration of writing nonfiction for children.

About the Illustrator

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Sam Kalda is an illustrator and artist based in Saint Paul. His commissioned works include editorial, book, advertising and pattern illustration. In 2017, he received a gold medal in book illustration from the Society of Illustrators in New York. He also won a medal from the Cheese Club in college for being able to identify the most amount of, well, cheeses. His first book, Of Cats and Men: History's Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers and Statesmen, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2017. He recently illustrated his first picture book, When We Walked on the Moon, written by David Long and published by Wide Eyed Press in 2019, as well as the follow-up, When Darwin Sailed the Sea.

He lives in an old house with his husband and two cats, Arthur and Frances. In their role as studio assistants, the cats specialize in houseplant demolition and pencil relocation. He enjoys futzing around in his garden, going to estate sales, and taking long walks. So basically, when he's not working, he's retired. He's taught at CUNY Queens College and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

About the Publisher

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Feeding Minds Press is a project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, whose mission is to build awareness and understanding of agriculture through education. We focus on helping young readers understand where their food comes from, who grows it, and how it gets to them and believe in cultivating curiosity about food and farming and how agriculture plays a role in our daily lives. All books from Feeding Minds Press have accompanying lessons, activities, and videos to further learning available on their website,



  • One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of Hero for the Hungry
  • US/Can only
  • Ends 9/11 at 11:59pm ET
  • Enter via the Rafflecopter below
  • Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!


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Blog Tour Schedule:

August 29th Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
August 30th Mom Read It
August 31st A Dream Within A Dream
September 1st Randomly Reading
September 2nd YA Books Central


  1. the interesting research

  2. I learned about the additional resources readers can go to to find out more.


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