Out Of The Dust

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Out Of The Dust

by Karen Hesse

SCHOLASTIC INC | January 1, 1999 | Trade Paperback

Out Of The Dust is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 8.
This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo''s struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father''s slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo''s badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again. The 1998 Newbery Medal winner.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 pages, 7.57 × 5.26 × 0.62 in

Published: January 1, 1999

Publisher: SCHOLASTIC INC

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0590371258

ISBN - 13: 9780590371254

Appropriate for ages: 9

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from good picture of life in the Great Depression Fourteen-year-old Billie Jo Kelby lives with her Pa, Bayard Kelby, and her Ma Polly, who is going to have a baby, near Joyce City in the Oklahoma panhandle during the dust bowl days of the Great Depression. Born in August of 1920, she begins her diary, written in free verse, in January of 1934 and covers the next two years of her life with a chronicle of her family’s dreary existence including both her tragedies and triumphs. Her best friend Livie Killian moves with her family to California. The Kelby farm is failing, and all Billie Jo wants to do is to escape the dust that envelopes her. However, her Pa is determined to stick it out. Then a terrible accident transforms both her family and her life. But the one thing that might make things more bearable, playing the piano, seems impossible with her now scarred hands. How will she cope with all her difficulties? Author Karen Hesse bases the picture drawn in this book, which won the 1998 Newbery Medal, on true stories which she read in an Oklahoma newspaper, the 1934 Boise City News. In her Newbery Acceptance Speech, Hesse said that the story “was about forgiveness.” I found it interesting and informative, but the two biggest complaints which I have heard about the book are that it is boring and that it is depressing. I can understand how children who want only bang-bang, shoot-‘em-up action books would find a simple account like this to be “boring,” but then “boring,” like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And yes, it is a bit “depressing,” but then it is set in the “Depression,” and there is a reason why this era was given that name. Out of the Dust does an excellent job of helping the reader to gain insight into the absolute poverty which many people of that day experienced. At the same time, I would not recommend it to a child who is actually dealing with the problem of depression. Other than a couple of common euphemisms (i.e., “darn” and “heck”), there is no cursing or profanity. After the accident, Pa did take Ma’s money to go out and get drunk, although he did not continue doing that, and one scene about making moonshine occurs, along with some references to dancing. Some sensitive youngsters may shrink from the description of “Grown men clubbing bunnies to death.” And one day when it does rain, Billie Jo sees her pregnant mom out behind the barn “bare as a pear.” Before anyone writes in to complain about my mentioning these things, I’m not saying that they make the book bad or that people shouldn’t read it because of them. It’s just that some parents want to know about such things ahead of time so that they can be prepared to discuss them with their children. The free verse used in the book is certainly different, but the sparseness of language emphasizes the sense of despair, yet with an underlying feeling of hope. My suggestion, especially for those who don’t care for poetry, is to forget about trying to follow the free verse and just read the story as prose. That worked for me!
Date published: 2012-12-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! I really enjoyed this book. The poetry form was very interesting, though it made it a quick read and a bit more difficult to actually get into ...but the story was amazing. I loved it! I highly recommend this book. :)
Date published: 2003-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Out of the dust Out Of The Dust is a book about a girl named Billie-Jo who lives in a town that has lots of dust storms.Her father is a farmer, which lives with her at the farm. She also had a mother that was pregnant. Her mother had a terrible accident, Billie Jo is scared because her mother died in a accident. Her father doesn't like to talk about her mother and the fact that she is dead. The thing that makes Billie happy is playing the piano, she could play the piano well but after she does her fingers would hurt because of the accident that she had with her mother. This book tells us mostly about a girl that loves to play the piano, but after she plays her fingers would hurt alot because of the accident she had that killed two people that is the mother and the baby that was not even alive for two days. The book is short but it tells us good infomation just in less words and sentences. The book does not take lots of words to explain s
Date published: 2003-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Out of the Dust Review Billie had a good life, without dust that is. Dust was the only thing that was messing up her life untill everything fell apart. A big accident occured, and everything is being blamed on Bilie. Her mom is gone, along with the newborn baby. At home she has to do stuff that her mom used to do, which hurts alot with her burnt hands. The dust is takin over her life and everything she does. Her dad doesn't talk much about anything. which cuts off almost all her communication. Billie wonders why she is even living, the piano is the only thing that makes her happy and now it hurts almost too much to play. Does Billie really have anything to live for? Can her life get any worse? The book Out of the Dust is a very flexible book, what I mean by flexible is that her life always changes so fast. For example; they get snow and start cleaning out all the dust because they thought the worst was over, and then a massive Dust
Date published: 2003-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgetable This book has touched my heart! The story tells us how a poor young girl survives her misfortunes and threw it all never gives up hope. It is an unforgetable story that moved me so.
Date published: 2000-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breath tacking This book reveels how a poor little girl survives through her misfotunes an can no longer do the things she cherished the most. This book has taken my breath away with its charm and poetry!
Date published: 2000-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breath taking This book reveals how a poor little girl survives through her misfortunes and can no longer do the things she cherished the most. This book has taken my breath away with its charm and poetry!
Date published: 2000-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding! I used this novel as a read aloud for my Grade 4/5 class and we all LOVED it. It is extremely well written and full of excitement. The poems in the story are a really unique way to tell Billie Jo's story. 32 thumbs up from my class!
Date published: 1999-09-15

– More About This Product –

Out Of The Dust

by Karen Hesse

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 pages, 7.57 × 5.26 × 0.62 in

Published: January 1, 1999

Publisher: SCHOLASTIC INC

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0590371258

ISBN - 13: 9780590371254

About the Book

A poem cycle that reads as a novel, this Newbery Medal winner tells the story of Billie Jo, a girl who struggles to help her family survive the dust bowl years of the Depression.

From the Publisher

This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo''s struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father''s slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo''s badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again. The 1998 Newbery Medal winner.

From the Jacket

"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.

About the Author

KAREN HESSE won the Newbery Medal for Out of the Dust, and was recently named a MacArthur Fellow. Ms. Hesse and Ms. Watson previously collaborated on the picture book, The Cats in Krasinski Square, whichreceived three starred reviews as well as numerous awards and Honours. She lives in Vermont with her husband.

From Our Editors

Billie Jo is a young girl living on the otherwise fertile land of the Bread Bowl, which is now the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. Her valiant struggle to help her family cope during these extremely lean years makes Out Of The Dust a wonderful tale of strength and courage. Karen Hesse’s lyrical poetry brings readers deep into the trials and tribulations of this young girl, dealing with poverty and her mother’s tragic death.

Appropriate for ages: 9