• Book

Out of the dust

by Hesse, Karen.

There are currently 3 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Y Fiction / Hesse, Karen, R Newbery Medal 1998

Available Copies: Downtown Youth, Traverwood Youth

Additional Details

Youth level.

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

Community Reviews

Moving, Wrenching Poetry

The poems are beautiful, and haunting, and describe a time and a place (Oklahoma's panhandle in the early 1930's) so well that I really felt transported. The things that Hesse writes about - dust, over and over again, throughout the book, gritty and heavy and so pervasive - but also pregnancy, horrible accidents, rain, apples, music, and the longing to run away - really tell a very powerful story. In that respect "Out of the Dust" reminded me of the intertwined stories in the Spoon River Anthology. And Billie Jo? She's more than a little like an older Caddie Woodlawn, with her red hair, conflicts with her parents, and her independent nature.

I do think that "Out of the Dust" is better for kids on the older edge of the Newbery award readers - the sudden death and grief in "Out of the Dust" are not easy topics, for either adults or kids.

But the beauty, redemption, and hope makes it worth it.


Well written and very descriptive

a must read!!!

A great book about courage and forgiveness.

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