Chapter 12 is titled “Unhappy Unions.” My daughter lives and breathes unicorns, so when I quickly glanced at the title, at first I thought it said “unhappy unicorns.” For a second, I wondered what figure of speech Ms. Bauer had come up with this time. It helps to slow down when you read a title.
The unhappy unions in this chapter were between the English and the Irish in the first story, and the Boers and the British in the second story.
This volume opened up with the expression “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” Now, slowly but surely, problems are creeping into this huge empire. It starts to fall apart at the seams with every chapter we read.
The ITV drama “Victoria” covers the potato famine in Ireland but the kids have not seen it. So I told them a bit from what I saw to complete the picture for them. Yes, some of the details in “Victoria” are fictional, but a lot of historical facts have gone into the script, as well.
I reminded the kids that we do not know what it means to be hungry. Like, really, really hungry. The Irish were starving, collapsing on the side of the road. And here we sit at the table turning up our noses because something has a different texture or taste than what we are used to. I never waste an opportunity to lecture them on being picky at the table.
For our craft, I made a potato stew. We do not eat meat, so no lamb in our “traditional Irish stew,” but lots of potatoes, carrots, green peppers, onions and garlic. We figured that we eat potatoes about twice a week. We love potatoes.