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Like the Oklahoma dust bowl from which she came, 14-year-old narrator Billie Jo writes in sparse, free-floating verse. In this compelling, immediate journal, Billie Jo reveals the grim domestic realities of living during the years of constant dust storms: That hopes--like the crops--blow away in the night like skittering tumbleweeds. That trucks, tractors, even Billie Jo's beloved piano, can suddenly be buried beneath drifts of dust. Perhaps swallowing all that grit is what gives Billie Jo--our strong, endearing, rough-cut heroine--the stoic courage to face the death of her mother after a hideous accident that also leaves her piano-playing hands in pain and permanently scarred.
Meanwhile, Billie Jo's silent, windblown father is literally decaying with grief and skin cancer before her very eyes. When she decides to flee the lingering ghosts and dust of her homestead and jump a train west, she discovers a simple but profound truth about herself and her plight. There are no tight, sentimental endings here--just a steady ember of hope that brightens Karen Hesse's exquisitely written and mournful tale. Hesse won the 1998 Newbery Award for this elegantly crafted, gut-wrenching novel, and her fans won't want to miss The Music of Dolphins or Letters from Rifka. (Ages 9 and older) --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In a starred review of the 1998 Newbery Medal winner, set during the Depression, PW said, "This intimate novel, written in stanza form, poetically conveys the heat, dust and wind of Oklahoma. With each meticulously arranged entry Hesse paints a vivid picture of her heroine's emotions." Ages 11-13.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Enjoyable. Sad but with a heartwarming ending. Good descriptions of life in the dirty thirties.Published 27 days ago by Moses
While I've never been a farm girl, this book told entirely in the form of a series of poems makes the experience of living in the dirty thirties come to life. And that says a lot. Read morePublished 11 months ago by AliKira
I recommend this book to anyone that's 13 years old and up because the first part of the story is emotional. Billy's mom died. Read more
I read Out of The Dust when i was probably 11, and i LOVED it! For me, i love stories with a lot of drama and stories that make me cry. Read morePublished on July 4 2004
I'm sorry but unless you are looking to throw yourself in a state of depression, this book is of no use to you. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by Gina
This must be one of the worst pieces of literature I have ever read in my 16 years. Thank you, Waldron Mercy Academy, for providing me with such lovely book suggestions to... Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by QUEEN_OF_EVERYTHING
I think the book was good. It made me think about how tough it was living through dust storms and living without a mom and without a little brother. Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by Maria M.
The theme of this book is death. You meet someone, you like them, they either die or move to California. Sorry I ruined all the book talks about. Read morePublished on May 5 2004
The book called out of the dust is a great book! I loved how she explained what the land looked like and how the people relate to the weather when there were major dust storms. Read morePublished on May 4 2004