Out Of The Dust Author:Karen Hesse 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 othe... more »rs 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.
Winner of: Newberry Medal
Scott O'Dell Award
ALA Notable Children's Book
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A School library Journal BEst Book of the Year
A Booklist Editors' Choice
A Book Links "lasting Connection"
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A NY Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection« less
Written as a free style poem, this book is heart wrenching and compelling. Vivid imagery effectively forces the reader to go through the same sorrows and joys that Billy Joe experiences. I could not put it down until I was finished.
Had to read this book for a children's literature class last year, and found it to be ok. I wouldn't have normally read it on my own without the course.
The book is basically about hard times for a little girl living in the Midwest. She very accidentally burns her pregnant mother, and things become very tragic. She and her father have very hard times connecting and maintaining an affectionate relationship (the kind that little girls long for with their dads), because he's very sad, overworked and just emotionally unavailable. But fast forward many pages (because i don't want to give anything away) and someone comes into both of their lives and all turns out to be well again.
I've given it a "mid-level" rating because it again, is something the I HAD to read, not anything I truly in my heart wanted to read. But if reading about hard times, dust storms, and life in the west is your thing, you'll really enjoy it (no disrespect intended). :)