Winner of the 1998 Newbery Medal
"Dust piles up like snow across the prairie. . . ."
A terrible accident has transformed Billie Jo's life, scarring her inside and out. Her mother is gone. Her father can't talk about it. And the one thing that might make her feel better -- playing the piano -- is impossible with her wounded hands.
To make matters worse, dust storms are devastating the family farm and all the farms nearby. While others flee from the dust bowl, Billie Jo is left to find peace in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma -- and in the surprising landscape of her own heart.--from the publisher
240 pages 978-0590360807 Ages 10-13 (Traumatic loss)
Keywords: Dust Bowl, American history, family, tragedy, survival, novel in verse, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old 13 year old, Newbery Medal
Book Pairings: Pair this book with The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown (Contributed by Tricia Stohr-Hunt)
Billie Jo has a great deal to forgive: her father for causing the accident that killed her mother; her mother for leaving when Billie Jo needed her most; and herself for being the cause of her own sorrow. Daddy's too wrung out to help her, and there's no one else to care. So at 14, Billie Jo must heal herself - even if it means tearing up her roots and leaving behind everything she's ever known.--from the publisher
When Billie Jo is just fourteen she must endure heart-wrenching ordeals that no child should have to face. The quiet strength she displays while dealing with unspeakable loss is as surprising as it is inspiring.
Written in free verse, this award-winning story is set in the heart of the Great Depression. It chronicles Oklahoma's staggering dust storms, and the environmental--and emotional--turmoil they leave in their path. An unforgettable tribute to hope and inner strength.--from the publisher