Monday, March 18, 2013

Bibliophile's Corner

Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse

Back Flap Description:
"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.

My Thoughts:
Although Out of the Dust was written over fifteen years ago, this poignant novel in verse is just as powerful today as it was in 1998 when it won the Newbery Medal Award. Ms. Hesse's eloquent, poetic style coupled with her amazing and accurate descriptions of the Great Depression of the 1930's, make this novel a true work of art. The author presents a protagonist who must deal with more than her share of life's harshest miseries; the beauty of this story is that the reader ultimately sees the young heroine transcend her pain with strength, dignity, and courage. I would highly recommend Out of the Dust to readers from the ages of eight to eighty.

To learn more about the author, Karen Hesse, click here: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/karen-hesse

13 comments:

  1. Oh, I loved this book...although the tragedy depressed me a bit. Good review, Victoria. :)

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    1. I know what you mean, Linda...dark human emotions. Maybe that's why it worked though. Hope you have a great week!

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  2. This book sounds good! I love Depression era stories.

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    1. Loree - In some ways this book is the quintessential Depression era novel. Even though it's a children's book, it has definite cross over appeal.

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  3. It sounds like a fascinating read, and I need to add more novels in verse to my resume so I'll look it up. I loved The Dogs of Winter.

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    1. Sara - I'm so glad you enjoyed The Dogs of Winter. As you know, I loved it too!

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  4. Thanks for sharing Victoria, this does sound like something my daughter would like. I'll mention it to her!

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    1. Make sure she has a box of tissues nearby as she reads it, Tanya! ^_^

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  5. Thanks for a good review, Victoria. I have never read this book. When it came out, I really wasn't into the idea of novels in verse. And then I read one (about the Johnstown flood) and was blown away by it. I'll have to go give Out of the Dust a try.

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    1. I'm finding novels in verse quite addicting, Elizabeth. Thanks for popping by. ^_^

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  6. I finally read this one last month and really enjoyed it as well =) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. Thank you, Amanda, for getting me reading down this particular path. Your Novels in Verse Challenge 2013 is awesome!

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  7. A wonderful novel. And you're so right: The protagonist truly does deal with harsh miseries.

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