Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo's struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father's slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo's badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again. The 1998 Newbery Medal winner.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Scholastic, 2013
ISBN: 9780545517126
Characteristics: 1 online resource (240 pages)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 22, 2018

Read in private when time allows

Sep 06, 2018

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy historical fiction, and depictions of great struggle and growth.

This book is written in verse and tells the story of Billie Jo and her family's struggle through the dust bowl in rural Oklahoma during the great depression.

This was required reading for many I went to school with, I somehow was not assigned to read it. I had my mind made up that it would be very boring, but I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought that I would dislike that it is written in verse, but I liked that too. I love reading stories where the characters are struggling through an unimagineable time, but show so much strength. I felt very immersed in the story, especially for how short of a book it is. I definitely learned about the dust bowl quite a bit as well. I highly recommend if you enjoy moving historical fiction.

Jun 26, 2018

This book was sort of sad but it had good description and it had some happy parts. All in all, it was a good book.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Mar 18, 2015

This book won the 1998 Newbery Medal, and I reread it for the first time since elementary school as part of my ongoing project to read all the Newbery winners in chronological order. I liked it more this time around than I did as a kid, even as I struggled with certain elements of it -- I'm not at all a fan of novels in verse, and while I love historical fiction, Depression-era Dust Bowl is not really my cup of tea. And yet I could still appreciate the merits of this, even if it's not something I would normally enjoy; it's a lovely story and very moving, in a quiet sort of way. Not for everyone, but I can actually begrudgingly understand why this won the Newbery.

pirates_class_of_2018 Sep 11, 2013

one of the most emotional books I have ever read

Sep 11, 2013

This is a young adult novel written as poetry and at first I thought I wouldn't like it, but such was far from the case. The author uses few words but the result is a story rich with feeling. Billy Joe, a fourteen-year-old girl living with her mother and father in the dustbowl of Oklahoma, shares her thoughts and feelings as we follow the events of 1934 and 1935. Her father stays on the land fighting for a wheat crop that never really materializes. We battle the dust with them and the imagery brings home the dry pervasive unrelenting grittiness of it. This is a story of persistence, forgiveness, love, and optimism. Grim but uplifting at the same time.

Nov 27, 2010

I love how this author writes a novel in poetry. Going back and reading it again as an adult, I realized there are multiple themes in the book, but the one that still makes the greatest impression on me is that of forgiveness and accepting accidents as accidents.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
red_crane_52 Jul 30, 2012

red_crane_52 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Find it at VPL

To Top