Thank you, Jackie Bassett , for a great way to begin a book talk.
Hesse, K. (1997). Out of the dust. New York: Scholastic Inc.
Close your eyes; listen; “Brown earth rained down from the sky. I could not catch my breath the way the dust pressed on my chest and wouldn’t stop. The dirt blew down so thick it scratched my eyes and stung my tender skin; it plugged my nose and filled inside my mouth. No matter how I pressed my lips together, the dust made muddy tracks across my tongue.” This is the reality that Billy Jo had to deal with more than once in her young life while living in Oklahoma during the years of the dust bowl. Living with her mom and dad in a small house on an Oklahoma farm, Billy Jo tried to make the best of her situation. Most days she could, watching her mama’s belly grow bigger each day anticipating the birth of a brother or sister, helping her mama with household chores, but most of all, playing the piano. Billy Jo loved to play the piano, and she was good at it. She even made money playing the piano. However, life was not easy for Billie Jo and her family. Dust storms coming up out of nowhere, blowing away the land and beating down anything that tried to grow. And there was never enough rain. And if this wasn’t hard enough, a tragedy in which Billie Jo feels responsible rips her family apart. Billie Jo is left scared and broken. Can Billie Jo find the courage and strength to fight for hope in the midst of so much pain and loss? Read Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse to find out.