Out of the Dust 1998 Medal Winner ***

Out of the Dust is a book written in free verse about Billy Jo a 14 year old girl growing up during the Depression and in the middle of the dust bowl. When tragedy strikes her family she discovers how to have hope and look forward to the future. Warning: Graphic death is described.

Out of the Dust is not a children's book. I don't know how it can be considered children's literature. While I think this book does a great job of describing what life was like living in the Dust Bowl and just how awful it was, it is too sad and too graphic for young readers. Billy Jo accidently throws a bucket of kerosene this is on fire on her pregnant mother which ultimately leads to her and the baby's death. The guilt and blame that Billy Jo must endure is too deep of a subject for children.

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