Food Insecurity and Education: Background information when reading Too Shattered for Mending

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Too Shattered for Mending

by Peter Brown Hoffmeister

Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister X
Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Sep 2017, 384 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
Buy This Book

About this Book

Food Insecurity and Education

This article relates to Too Shattered for Mending

Print Review

Food InsecurityThere is no question that Little's life is affected by both his circumstances and the environment he lives in – and the Pierce, Idaho in which Hoffneister sets Too Shattered For Mending is not a figment of his imagination, but a real place, which means that it isn't a question of if there are real teens with the same struggles that Little and his peers face, but how many. Hoffman writes in an author's note:

The people of Pierce are engaging…Independent yet mutually supportive…It's strange being in a town where people are generally capable of wiring their own homes, acquiring their own meat, storing up wood for a long winter, and fixing their own cars or trucks, but that's Pierce…Unfortunately, the poverty, both financial and cultural, is stunning as well. The racism, the lack of higher education, the drug trade. There's little legal oversight, almost zero police or sheriff presence in the town. Many times in Pierce I've seen a twelve- or thirteen-year-old ride an ATV on the Idaho 11 through the middle of town with a shotgun or rifle on his front rack.

This certainly paints a strong picture of what life is like in a place that is remote in every way, and it makes what Little faces every day that much harder, and his commitment to trying to stay in school that much more commendable. One of the hardest things to read about is the food uncertainty in the lives of most of the youth the novel focuses on; Little can hunt and fish, and does so to supplement the food supply for both himself and his cousin, who is, at one point, very concerned that there is no meat for them to eat. But Little and his cousin also depend upon food stamps, which are sometimes bartered for other things before food can be purchased. Throughout the book, there is a sense of constant hunger underlying Little's life. Readers watch him skip school to supplement his food supply, and see him eat to the point of being sated only once. His cousin is vocal about her hunger, and Rowena, the girl Little's brother was dating, is always described in wan tones.

As of 2015, The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) estimated that 15 million children in the US – 21% of all children – lived below the federal poverty threshold, and that 43% lived in low-income families. According to the American Psychological Association's presentation on the effects of poverty, hunger, and homelessness on children and youth, as of 2010, 22% of children under the age of 18 lived in food-insecure households. Hunger has well-documented negative impacts on children, from early development through adolescence, including increased demonstration of negative behavior – something seen with Willa, Little's cousin, – increased risk of psychiatric and functional problems, and increased risk for chronic health conditions. In addition to the physical and social impacts, hunger also impacts children's ability to learn: American Pediatric Association research connects nutrition to brain function in children, where kids with access to poorer nutrition tend to be more distracted, and unable to focus.

Food insecurity in the United States does not have a tangible single solution, but is often acknowledged and supported both with federal programs such as food stamps and school lunch programs, and community food banks in many areas. As the need grows, more communities and people are being made aware of the level of food insecurity in the US, and also the individual and social ramifications of this insecurity across a person's life. However, it is rare that those who do not personally experience it are given such a clear picture of the anxiety of food insecurity as Hoffmeister portrays in Too Shattered For Mending.

Food Insecurity image.

Filed under Society and Politics

This article relates to Too Shattered for Mending. It first ran in the September 20, 2017 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: All That She Carried
    All That She Carried
    by Tiya Miles
    For Rose of Charleston, South Carolina, it was an ordinary day until it wasn't. When it turned out ...
  • Book Jacket
    Migrations
    by Charlotte McConaghy
    Migrations, Australian author Charlotte McConaghy's literary fiction debut, earned a notably high ...
  • Book Jacket: The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel
    Kristin Harmel's historical novel The Forest of Vanishing Stars was very well-received by our First ...
  • Book Jacket: African Europeans
    African Europeans
    by Olivette Otele
    The nexus of Africans and Europeans is not a recent historical development. Rather, the peoples of ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Little Hopes
by Leah Weiss
A Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees, in the murky shadows of World War II.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Sunset Route
    by Carrot Quinn

    A beautiful memoir about forgiveness, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of nature.

Win This Book!
Win The Debt Trap

The Debt Trap
by Josh Mitchell

"A meticulous, eye-opening history of the US student debt crisis."
—Publishers Weekly

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A T I A Teapot

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.