Out of the Dust

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Ma
has been nursing these two trees
for as long as I can remember.
In spite of the dust,
in spite of the drought,
because of Ma’s stubborn care,
these trees are
thick with blossoms,
delicate and
pinky-white.

 Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse is one of those books that sticks with you for quite a while. It is a book about 14 year old Billie Jo living in the dust bowl. If you don’t know what that is it is; The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion (the Aeolian processes) caused the phenomenon. -Google

There isn’t much of a summary I can give of this book without spoiling something. It’s more of a Bildungsroman than a plot driven narrative.  It is a book about life and struggle. Accepting change and the things that will not change. Pushing forward and excelling in spite of the dust, in spite of the drought. 

Now I read this book for the first time in 7th grade. In fact I read a lot of great stuff that year. . . 12 year old Tarina knew what was up apparently, but I digress. The point is that i have always remembered this book. It just kind of stuck with me like some books do. Then last month when i was at a thrift store I just happened to see it. FATE!? Maybe. But whatever it was I wanted it and my boyfriend is a total enabler so now I own it and I reread it and it’s just as amazing as I remembered.

out-of-the-dust-billie-jo-cover-pic

Book 18 of 36: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

  • 1- Don’t Read
  • 2- It’s Good
  • 3- Read
  • 4- Highly Recommend
  • 5- Must Read

This is a book that is haunting. It’s middle grade but that should never deter you from picking something up. Go to the younger sections of your local book store, you will find treasures there I promise.

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