Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust

Book - 1997
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Acclaimed author Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal-winning novel-in-verse explores the life of fourteen-year-old Billie Jo growing up in the dust bowls of Oklahoma.

"Dust piles up like snow across the prairie. . . ."

A terrible accident has transformed Billie Jo's life, scarring her inside and out. Her mother is gone. Her father can't talk about it. And the one thing that might make her feel better -- playing the piano -- is impossible with her wounded hands.

To make matters worse, dust storms are devastating the family farm and all the farms nearby. While others flee from the dust bowl, Billie Jo is left to find peace in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma -- and in the surprising landscape of her own heart.
ISBN: 9780590360807
Characteristics: 227 pages ;,20 cm.


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Hillsboro_RobP Jun 09, 2020

Often sad and depressing, this is a surprisingly effective blend of poetry and historical fiction that tells a grim tale not without hope.

Dec 22, 2018

Read in private when time allows

Sep 06, 2018

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy historical fiction, and depictions of great struggle and growth.

This book is written in verse and tells the story of Billie Jo and her family's struggle through the dust bowl in rural Oklahoma during the great depression.

This was required reading for many I went to school with, I somehow was not assigned to read it. I had my mind made up that it would be very boring, but I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought that I would dislike that it is written in verse, but I liked that too. I love reading stories where the characters are struggling through an unimagineable time, but show so much strength. I felt very immersed in the story, especially for how short of a book it is. I definitely learned about the dust bowl quite a bit as well. I highly recommend if you enjoy moving historical fiction.

Jun 26, 2018

This book was sort of sad but it had good description and it had some happy parts. All in all, it was a good book.

pirates_class_of_2018 Sep 11, 2013

one of the most emotional books I have ever read

Sep 11, 2013

This is a young adult novel written as poetry and at first I thought I wouldn't like it, but such was far from the case. The author uses few words but the result is a story rich with feeling. Billy Joe, a fourteen-year-old girl living with her mother and father in the dustbowl of Oklahoma, shares her thoughts and feelings as we follow the events of 1934 and 1935. Her father stays on the land fighting for a wheat crop that never really materializes. We battle the dust with them and the imagery brings home the dry pervasive unrelenting grittiness of it. This is a story of persistence, forgiveness, love, and optimism. Grim but uplifting at the same time.

Nov 27, 2010

I love how this author writes a novel in poetry. Going back and reading it again as an adult, I realized there are multiple themes in the book, but the one that still makes the greatest impression on me is that of forgiveness and accepting accidents as accidents.

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red_crane_52 Jul 30, 2012

red_crane_52 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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