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The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack is the first book in the My Story series by Scholastic UK. The book was written by Carol Drinkwater. It was first published in April 2001 with Voyage on the Great Titanic, The Crystal Palace, and Blitz. The book was reissued in May 2008 and February 2015. It has also been translated into French, Welsh, and Chinese.


"For my mother, Phyllis McCormack, and in memory of all those who have lost their lives fighting for Ireland or struggled to make a living there."

Book description[]

"10th November, 1845
Horrible! Horrible! The rot has destroyed most of the potatoes which were wholesome and sound when we dug them out of the ground. Da opened up the pit this morning and found it filled with nothing but diseased mush. All we have left to eat are those that hadn't yet gone underground.
"Six months provisions are a mass of stinking rottenness. Where has it come from?" Da kept repeating all morning. "Disease will take us all," he drawled. I felt my skin go cold when I heard him. What are we to do? We'll have to use the rent money to buy food, and then what? If we don't pay our rent, we'll be thrown into the road.

"It's 1845 and blight has destroyed the precious potato crop leaving Ireland starving. Phyllis works hard to support her struggling family, but when her mother's health deteriorates she sets off in search of her rebel brother and is soon swept up in the fight for a free and fair Ireland..."

""You have a brother fighting for Ireland's freedom, Phylly. Be proud of that and don't forget whose side you are on."
It's 1845 and blight has destroyed the precious potato crop, leaving Ireland starving. Phyllis works hard to support her struggling family, but when her mother's health deteriorates, she sets off in search of her rebel brother. Soon, with hunger raging all around her, Phyllis is swept up in the fight for a free and fair Ireland.

"Partage le journal intime de Phyllis, et affronte avec elle les tourments d'un terrible fléau.
"10 novembre 1845. Horrible! La maladie a réduit en pourriture presque toutes les pommes de terre. Ce matin, quand P'pa a ouvert la fosse, il n'a trouvé qu'une infâme bouillie.
"D'où c'est venu? a répété d'une voix languissante, presque mourante. Quand je l'ai entendu, j'ai eu la chair de poule. Qu'est-ce qu'on va devenir? Il faudra qu'on prenne l'argent du fermage pour acheter de quoi manger, mais après? C'est sûr, si on ne paie pas notre loyer, on sera jetés dehors."

"O, na! O, na! Mae'n drychineb! Mae'r haint wedi strywio'r rhan fwyaf o'r tato. Y tato oedd yn berffaith iach a maethlon pan godon ni nhw o'r ddaear. Agorodd Dat y pydew bore 'ma a'i weld yn llawn o ddim ond potsh afiach. Yr unig beth sy 'da ni ar ôl i fwyta yw'r tato sy heb fynd dan y ddaear. 'Chwe mis o fwyd yn llwyth o botsh drewllyd. O ble mae e wedi dod?' Dyna'r cwbwl allai Dat ei ddweud drwy'r bore heblaw am
'Fe aiff yr haint â ni i gyd.'
Teimlais fy hun yn oeri wrth wrando arno. Fferrodd fy ngwaed. Beth allwn ni ei wneud? Bydd yn rhaid i ni ddefnyddio arian y rhent i brynu bwyd. Ond beth wedyn? Os na thalwn ni'r rhent byddwn ni mas ar yr heol.


Historical Note[]


Main article: List of The Hunger characters


Main article: Carol Drinkwater

Carol Drinkwater is a British writer, actress, and filmmaker. She is best known for her Olive series, which is based on her experiences in France. Drinkwater is also well known for appearing in the television series, All Creatures Great and Small. The Hunger was her first book for the My Story series. She also penned Twentieth-Century Girl, Suffragette, and Nowhere to Run.




  • The images on the cover of the first edition were licensed from the Hulton Archive.[10]
  • The cover of the section My Story edition was illustrated by artist Richard Jones.


See also[]

My Story

The Hunger | Voyage on the Great Titanic | The Crystal Palace | Blitz | My Tudor Queen | Twentieth-Century Girl
The Great Plague | The '45 Rising | Civil War | Trafalgar | The Trenches | Battle of Britain | Mill Girl | Transported
Armada | Crimea | Bloody Tower | Indian Mutiny | Zulu War | Mayflower | Agincourt | Suffragette | Waterloo | Slave Girl
Flying Ace | Anne Boleyn and Me | D-Day | Victorian Workhouse | Spy Smuggler | Desert Danger | War Nurse
U-Boat Hunter | The Queen's Spies

1st relaunch

Princess of Egypt | Pompeii | Road to War | Roman Invasion | Viking Blood | Highway Girl | Sophie's Secret War
The Storm to Come | The Sweep's Boy | The Fall of the Blade | Pyramid of Secrets | Factory Girl | Dodger!
No Way Back | Wartime Princess | London Stories | Berlin Olympics | Lady Jane Grey | Nowhere to Run

2nd relaunch

Codename Céline

3rd relaunch

Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan | Ignatius Sancho | Princess Sophia Duleep Singh | Mary Prince

My Royal Story

Victoria | Anastasia | Cleopatra | Marie Antoinette | Elizabeth | Mary, Queen of Scots | Henry VIII's Wives

My True Story

What If They Find Us? | Hero at Dunkirk | Standing Alone | Give Us the Vote!

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