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Out of the Dust - Study Guide

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Out of the Dust unit study guide for literature, from a Christian perspective



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Newbery Award Winner 1998, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, ALA Notable Children's Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Billie Jo Kelby is an only child - her mother has endured numerous miscarriages. Though she knows he loves her, she believes her father views her as a substitute for the son he really wanted. Billie Jo is a good student, but her true joy is playing the piano. Billie Jo's piano playing leads to a job with a local musical group and gives her the opportunity to bring home a little money for the family. When her mother reveals that she is pregnant again, and the pregnancy seems to be going well, the family is hopeful. Despite the hardships of dust and depression, Billie Jo and her mother and father are a relatively happy family. However, tragedy strikes during an ordinary day. A bucket of kerosene, mistaken for a pail of water, leads to a terrible fire. Billie Jo's mother dies, and Billie Jo suffers serious burns herself when she tries to extinguish the fire with her bare hands. She and her father must now face the grieving, the healing, and the Dust Bowl alone. Written in free verse as a poetic journal, this touching novel of healing and returning joy vividly brings the Dust Bowl years to life.

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Recommended Grade Level:
1930's, Dustbowl
Workbook ISBN:
Study Guide Author:
Judy Cook
For the Book By:
Karen Hesse
Study Guide Page Count:
58 pages