book review

What tastes like home to you ?

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When author Christine Ieronimo saw her adopted Ethiopian daughter drinking from a puddle of water in their driveway, it inspired her to look how water connects us to the places we live and ultimately call home.

A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water Across the World is a poignant and heartfelt story about Eva Alemitu and how water connects her to Emaye, the mother she left behind in Africa.

A Thirst for Home

This is a story about the bleakness of poverty. Having to walk miles every day to get water, Emaye didn’t have enough food to feed her daughter Eva. In an act of love, she gives Eva up for adoption, knowing that giving her up means saving Eva’s life.

Through tears, rain, and puddles, water is what keeps Eva connected to her mother. The exquisite illustrations by Eric Velasquez capture the dignity and the drastic reality of poverty facing millions of people every day on this planet.


Eva faces balancing the security of her new American life with the longing for her biological mother back in Ethiopia.

This is one of these books that stays with you long after you read it. It creates a great opportunity to discuss poverty, the importance of food and water, sacrifice, and all of our connections to home.

Something To Do

Living in America we simply do not understand what not having water means. Everyday millions of people all over the world walk miles every day on empty stomachs just to seek out water they can drink and use to survive.

Here are some incredible and through provoking exercises that can be done to get a true view of the importance of water.

The Water Project: Help Solve the Water Crisis

Water Lesson Plans

Book Discussions


2nd & 3rd

4th & 5th

Let’s Learn About Ethiopia

Guide to Ethiopian Food

Kid World Citizen 

Behind the Story of A Thirst for Home

This is a beautiful film made by the author about adopting her daughter from Ethiopia and the inspiration for the book A Thirst for Home. A must see !!


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10 thoughts on “What tastes like home to you ?

  1. Hi Valerie,
    Thanks so much for introducing this book. One of the great things about blogging is that it leads to new discoveries.
    I traveled to Ethiopia with one of my daughters a few years ago with the adoption/child welfare organization that I am a part of. This made an incredible impact on us and influences many of the decisions we make. At this time we are sponsoring education for a young girl I met. We wanted to bring her to the US as a foreign exchange student but couldn’t get a visa for her. She has just begun medical school! Hopefully, our scholarship will lead to many more people getting the medical attention they need.
    Travel is so important – we need to step outside of our comfortable worlds from time to time to see what is happening elsewhere. Second best to actual travel is traveling through books.
    I am going to purchase “A Thirst For Home” based on your recommendation. November is Adoption Month and I am going to begin a series on the topic. Can I link to this post or repost it? Thanks

    1. Hi Claire Annette,
      Thank you for sharing about your trip to Ethiopia and the impact it had on your and your family. Travel is so important and my husband and I have strived very hard to raise global citizens. I look forward to reading your series on adoption and it would be an honor if you’d link to this or any post here. Be well and thank you so much.

  2. I’ve had this title on my to-read Pinterest board and am so happy to read your thought-provoking review. I’m considering it for purchase for my younger kids’ school library (I help the PTA spend money on books since there is no budget and no librarian … Ugh), and I love that this book also works on another level … Which is the awareness of the scarcity of water. Sounds like it does double duty as a book about science, cultural awareness, and adoption. I’m intrigued.

    1. Thank you for taking on the job of book buyer for your schools library. Libraries are community events. Thank you for your service. You are helping to impact the future of your school and community at large by raising literate children.
      This book services in so many areas and is a great launching point to learn about so many different areas. I think it’s a great fit for any library.

    1. The illustrations are simply gorgeous and do a stupendous job of bringing the story to life.

  3. What an incredible story Valarie, and the resources you included about water scarcity seem to be a great way to stress the importance of water in ways we too easily take for granted.

    1. This book really brought to light the issues around water scarcity. It has us thinking of the way we use in water in a whole different way. We do take it for granted. I found this book to be a great teaching tool. It pulls the heartstrings for sure.

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