Reviews for Out of the Dust


School Library Journal Reviews 1998 August
Gr 5-8-By Karen Hesse. Set in the Oklahoma dustbowl during the Great Depression, Billie Jo has a great deal to forgive: her father for causing the accident that killed her mother, her mother for leaving when she needed her the most, herself for being the cause of her own sorrow. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1998 September
Gr 5-8-Fourteen-year-old Billie Jo's life is defined by struggle both physical and emotional. She struggles to forgive her father for causing the accident that killed her mother. She fights a daily battle to survive during the worst days of the Oklahoma dust storms. And she strives to heal her body and her soul when severe burns leave her disfigured and unable to play the music she loves. Set during the time of the Great Depression and written in free verse, Karen Hesse's spare but powerful work (Scholastic, 1997) captures every nuance of Billie Jo's emotions, from heartwrenching sadness at the death of her mother and newborn brother to the challenge of rebuilding a relationship with her embittered father. Read with disarming simplicity and straightforwardness by Marika Mashburn, an Oklahoma native, the titled and dated entries span the course of a year during which Billie Jo's reflections lead her to draw on qualities she never knew she possessed. Powerful and moving, this 1998 Newbery Medal winner is a recommended purchase for all school and public libraries.-Cindy Lombardo, Orrville Public Library, OH Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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