Out of the Dust

By Karen Hesse,

Book cover of Out of the Dust

Book description

Acclaimed author Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal-winning novel-in-verse explores the life of fourteen-year-old Billie Jo growing up in the dust bowls of Oklahoma.

Out of the Dust joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!"Dust piles up like snow across the prairie. . .…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Out of the Dust as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Out of the Dust was the first verse novel I read. Set during the Dust Bowl of the thirties, I was drawn into the story from the first page. I loved Billy Jo, the main character, and was impressed by Karen Hesse’s ability to capture, in so few words, the dust, desolation, and difficulty of living in Oklahoma at that time. 

Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust was the first verse novel I ever read, and it has remained one of my favorite books. Set during the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma, it centers around young Billie Jo and her father as they navigate the aftermath of terrible tragedy during one of the worst droughts in history. Hesse’s poetry is as sparse as the story’s setting, and her meticulous use of language allows Billie Jo’s story to unfold in small and vivid increments. Hesse’s exquisite story would be compelling in any form; her eloquent verse elevates it to another level entirely. This…

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