Books·Canadian

Hunger Journeys

Maggie de Vries's young adult novel is about a teenage girl growing up in German-occupied Holland during the Second World War.

Maggie de Vries

It's the Second World War in German-occupied Holland, and in it lives awkward and naive Lena. Like many others in Amsterdam in the final months before liberation, Lena leaves her starving family in search of food in the countryside, a trip commonly referred to as a hunger journey. Convinced by her new thrill-seeking friend, Sofie, Lena embarks on a series of life-threatening encounters combined with the ethical dilemma of befriending a protective German soldier on a train that was previously used to send countless Jews to concentration camps. Hunger Journeys is a look at one 17-year-old's growing realization that world is never black or white, least of all the relationships she has with the people living in it.

Hunger Journeys is for readers ages 12 and up.

From the book

No one else in the house seemed to be all that affected by the mayhem in the streets. Lena's older sister, Margriet, was putting Bep to bed in the big bedroom. From the kitchen, Lena could hear the rise and fall of her voice as she told their little sister a story. Father was out, as he so often was. Mother was in the dim study, unravelling an old sweater in her endless, and largely futile, attempt to keep her family decently clothed.


From Hunger Journeys by Maggie de Vries ©2014. Published by HarperCollins Canada.