Out Of The DustRating
- Number of Pages: 240
- English (Unknown)
- English (Original Language)
- English (Published)
This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, might possibly be the compelling tale of Billie Jo's struggle to survive in the course of the dust bowl years utilizing the Depression. The 1998 Newbery Medal winner. There is hope at the finish when Billie Jo's badly burned hands are healed, and she is in a position to play her beloved piano again. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with all of the loss of her mother and her grieving father's slow deterioration.
Like the Oklahoma dust bowl from which she came, 14-year-old narrator Billie Jo writes in sparse, free-floating verse. That trucks, tractors, even Billie Jo's beloved piano, can suddenly be buried beneath drifts of dust. In this compelling, instant journal, Billie Jo reveals the grim domestic realities of living in the course of the years of constant dust storms: That hopes--like the crops--blow away inside the night like skittering tumbleweeds. Perhaps swallowing all that grit is what provides Billie Jo--our strong, endearing, rough-cut heroine--the stoic courage to face the death of her mother following 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. 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 There are no tight, sentimental endings here--just a steady ember of hope that brightens Karen Hesse's exquisitely written and mournful tale. 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.
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