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A bird dives through a classroom window and bangs into the shoulder of a young boy named Gendron, who faints. This incident, whether the result of happenstance or destiny, turns the lives of the children and the teacher, Mrs. Glatstein, upside down: they discover that Gendron is "starving."
The class decides to take up a collection to help him. Mrs. Glatstein throws herself body and soul into the fundraising. She feels guilty for not having recognized the signs of hunger. Had she not lived through the same thing in the Second World War?
The novel portrays with sensitivity two serious subjects, poverty and war, as well as the after effects they have on people's lives. The story is both sad and humorous. The surreal pencil sketches are amusing, adding to the text while making the situation less alarming. The duo of Hélène Vachon and Yayo, the creators of the Somerset series, once again presents us with a literary achievement.