Out of the Dust



Billie Jo is an inspiring young girl in this free verse novel by Karen Hesse. Out of the Dust is set in the dust bowl of Oklahoma during the middle of the Great Depression.

Billie Jo loses her mother and new born brother and damages her own hands because of a kerosene fire incident. She used to love to play the piano any chance she got and even dreamed of going to school to study music. After she hurt her hands and lost her family, besides her silent father, Billie Jo lets her dreams dry up just like their crops.

The free verse is a very colloquial and matter-of-fact style; however, it’s apparent that Hesse choses her words very carefully, and she is left with some very beautiful lines.

As I was reading my heart really did rise and fall with the characters of the story for the hope of rain and the end of all of the dust.

I suggest a big glass of water with this one!