"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.
This powerful novel in verse creates a vivid picture of life in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, as well as the inner life of a girl struggling to come to terms with her new reality.
"Like the Oklahoma dust bowl from which she came, 14-year-old narrator Billie Jo writes in sparse, free-floating verse. In this compelling, immediate journal, Billie Jo reveals the grim domestic realities of living during the years of constant dust storms.... When she decides to flee the lingering ghosts and dust of her homestead and jump a train west, she discovers a simple but profound truth about herself and her plight. There are no tight, sentimental endings here — just a steady ember of hope that brightens Karen Hesse's exquisitely written and mournful tale." — Gail Hudson, Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||9 - 13|
|Publication Date||Jan 1, 1999|
|Award Winners||Newbery Medal, Scott O'Dell Award|