I am a reader, I feel like I always have been. I am constantly surrounded by books in both my personal and professional worlds.
I have read excessively since the second grade. I have attempted, again and again, to keep a list of the books I've read and how I felt about them but so far have been unsuccessful. This is an attempt to keep track of the books I'm reading, and my thoughts about them. My goal is to publish at least one review a week (no promises though). Wish me luck!
Since I am doing the Newbery challenge, I don't always read the description of the winners before reading- I'm at the point where I get the book off the shelf and start reading. Because of this, the plot is a surprise. I knew absolutely nothing about Out of the Dust, though a part of me did assume it was about the dust bowl. Billie Jo lives with her mother and father and soon-to-be sibling in the middle of the horrid dust storms that took place during the Great Depression. Her life is extremely difficult, but she finds some solace in her piano playing. Despite trying to find ways to be happy, her life becomes harder and harder (not wanting to spoil with specific details), and though she faces seemingly impossible situations, she will become a stronger person.
I thought this book was a very interesting look at history. I personally know very little about this area of history as the Dust Bowl was not really covered in the history classes I have taken (odd as I live relatively close to the area in which they took place). Seeing it through Billie Jo's eyes was quite an eye opener. I have read a decent amount about the Great Depression but to have go through the Depression and the Dust Bowl is almost impossible for me to comprehend. Hesse's has a created a character with incredible strength and perseverance and I can't help admire Billie Jo. While I'm not sure that verse was the best option for this novel (I think it would have worked a little better as a journal), I do this this work is very strong and is certainly a worthwhile read. As usual, I think it would be excellent paired with some non-fiction books about this era as well. This book has inspired me to seek out more novels about this era and hope to do so in the near future. Happy Reading! -Melly