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The World in Your Lunch Box - The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods

The World in Your Lunch Box

The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods

By Claire Eamer
Illustrated by Sa Boothroyd
Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–7
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RI.4-5.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Reading Level: Lexile 1000L
Hardcover : 9781554513932, 128 pages, February 2012 , 9.5" x 7.0"
Paperback : 9781554513925, 128 pages, February 2012 , 9.5" x 7.0"
Rights sold: Korean


A ham sandwich on white bread. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut-butter-and-banana roll-ups. They may sound like ordinary items, but they take us on an amazing journey through the rich history and astonishing science of food.

Explore a week of lunches—from apples to pizza—by taking a romp through thousands of years of extraordinary events. Some are amusing, like the accidental invention of potato chips. Others are tragic, such as the Spice Wars, which killed thousands of people.

Consider that ham sandwich: Ancient Romans first made ham by curing meat with salt and smoke to kill microbes, while yeast (which burps gas) produces the fluffy texture of bread.

Aztec farmers bred tomatoes from small, bitter berries into plump, sweet fruit, and watermelons sustained travelers 10,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert.

With a vibrant design and quirky illustrations, The World in Your Lunch Box is like the perfect lunch: satisfying, well-balanced, and totally delicious. 

Click on the link below for a video featuring Claire Eamer:


“There is a surprising amount of nourishment here.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 03/12

“This is a fantastic book to read if you like to know weird and fun facts.”—QFHSA (Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations) News, 03/12

“Provides a veritable fridge-load of trivia that so delights young readers.”

- CM Reviews, 05/12

“Questions are answered that I would never have thought to ask ... and that is the beauty of this book!”

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 05/20/1

“Interesting just how many foods are found in a week’s worth, and how much history can be learned, and how many cultures are represented.”

-, 05/18/12

“This type of heavily illustrated fact book is effective at holding the attention of young readers. Plus they’re useful for research.”

- Unshelved, 05/25/12

“Everyday foods become interesting subject matter, which should promote lively classroom discussions.”

- Resource Links, 04/12

“Blend Eamer’s stories together gently with history and science, stir in artwork by Sa Boothroyd, serve it on an otherwise boring summer afternoon and this book becomes a treat kids will relish.”

- The Book Worm, 06/11/12

“A smart and savory feast sure to prompt discussion and debate among readers eight to twelve years.”

- Foreword Reviews, 06/12

“As the introduction promises, this title includes a log of exciting history, amazing science, and some very strange stories.”

- School Library Journal, 07/12

“Elevating the mundane into the realm of fascinating science and pop history, this book also offers a successful formula for encouraging students to enjoy nonfiction texts.”

- Booklist, 07/12

“Would make an excellent resource for anyone studying food and nutrition from the primary grades right up to high school.”

- Canadian Children’s Book News, 07/12

“This is a very kid friendly book, informative, but in a fun way.”

- She’s Got Books on Her Mind, 08/08/12

“In the atmosphere of health and nutrition and childhood obesity, this nonfiction look at the food in kids’ lunch boxes is presented humorously as well as factually.”

- IRA Reading Today, 08/22/12

“This book would make an excellent resource for anyone studying food and nutrition from the primary grades right up to high school.”

- Canadian Children’s Book News, Summer/12

“Read sections of this book aloud during nonfiction reading units, use it as a mentor text to demonstrate the use of voice in nonfiction writing, or give it to curious students who enjoy history, science, and/or trivia!”

- Elementary Books We Recommend, 11/25/12

“School kids may never look at their lunches the same again. Neither will you.” 

- Science, 12/12

“Makes learning the history and science of foods fun for kids and great for discussions.”

- Christian Library Journal, 04/17/13

“The information is relevant and often scientific or historical, providing more curriculum connections than you could dare to dream of.”

- The Very Best Books, 11/01/13

“The book’ witty, light tone, vibrant page layouts, and quirky illustrations are very attractive, making for a very appetizing read.”

- Interesting Nonfiction for Inquisitive Kids, 03/12/14

“Fun-filled, fact-based . . . an entertaining combination of Science, Social Studies and Health topics.”

- Canadian Teacher Magazine, 04/14

“With a kid-friendly structure and super-goofy illustrations, this is probably the best book on the history and science of familiar food to have been published for kids in recent years.”

- School Library Journal, 06/14

“A fun way for young readers to get to know more about the food they’re putting in their mouths for lunch every day.”

- Young Food Explorers, 01/24/15

“What a cool idea to look at the history, mystery and facts of food by looking at what’s in most people’s lunch boxes. . . . A great book for anyone who’s ever . . . well, eaten anything.

- Sci/Why, 05/15/20