Thursday, July 21, 2011

Out of the Dust

Title:               Out of the Dust
Category:       Historical fiction
Grade:            4-10
Author:          Karen Hesse
Illustrator:      N/A
Publisher:       Scholastic
Date:               1997
Pages:             227

The free-verse story of a young girl growing up in the Oklahoma Dustbowl during the Great Depression.  Billie Jo Kelby must cope with the gruesome loss of her mother and infant brother and find a way to escape or survive the dust that destroys her father’s crops and her own parched spirit.

A touching, bittersweet coming-of-age story with several surprises along the way.  I particularly appreciated Hesse’s sparseness of language, allowing the reader to discover his own thoughts and feelings about Billie Jo’s life and decisions.


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