ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Books & Novels

Out Of The Dust by Karen Hesse

Updated on January 16, 2015

Karen Hesse's Amazing Free Verse Novel - Out of the Dust

This amazing book, by Karen Hesse, is the story of how a girl overcame extremely difficult adversities during the dust bowl. Written in free verse poetry, it is quick read, but for so few words, it can truly paint a mental picture. Out of The Dust was the Newbery Medal winner in 1998.

The story is set in Oklahoma during the Great Depression. The rains have stopped and dust bowl set in, and a little girl struggles to survive and thrive while being presented with obstacle after obstacle.

Out Of The Dust - Purchase Your Copy of Out Of The Dust

Out Of The Dust
Out Of The Dust

When Billie Jo is just fourteen she must endure heart-wrenching ordeals that no child should have to face. The quiet strength she displays while dealing with unspeakable loss is as surprising as it is inspiring.

Written in free verse, this award-winning story is set in the heart of the Great Depression. It chronicles Oklahoma's staggering dust storms, and the environmental--and emotional--turmoil they leave in their path. An unforgettable tribute to hope and inner strength.


Your Opinions of Out of the Dust - Write a review, add a comment, or debate someone who disagrees with you.

What did you think?

"Now Livie's gone west,

out of the dust,

on her way to California,

where the wind takes a rest sometimes.

And I'm wondering what kind of friend I am,

wanting my feet on that road to another place,

instead of Livie's."

--Winter 1934

Out of the Dust Won the Following Awards

This is a great book, and as such has won several distinguished awards:

  • Newbery Medal in 1998
  • Scott O'Dell Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book
  • ALA "Best book" a School Library Journal "best book of the year"
  • Booklist "Editors' Choice" award
  • IBBY Honor List
  • Book Links "Lasting Connection"
  • Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year"
  • New York Public Library "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" Selection

Out of the Dust - Audio Book

Teaching Guides

Out of the Dust is a great book for class use. It lends itself well to discussion, and gives ample opportunity to include some learning of history. It is a great English/Social Studies crossover lesson.

Books on the Dust Bowl - Discover what drought can do to a community.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      lilyofthevalley1 6 years ago

      Wow, there is a lot of info on here! You could almost expand this into multiple lenses. But with your popularity, why would you? ;)

      If anyone wants other fabulous young adult book recs, come check out my lens!

    • DelightfulDanie profile image

      DelightfulDanie 6 years ago

      Nice lens! Well done.

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 7 years ago

      Your lens is chockfull of resources, and it looks great! Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very good design i should admit. keep up with good work

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      An excellent book page.

      Readers of this book might also enjoy my mother's book called My Flint Hills Childhood: Growing Up in 1930s Kansas. You can preview part of the book at

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      [in reply to MarinaKuperman] This is the squidlit template:

    • profile image

      MarinaKuperman 8 years ago

      i love your lense, how did you customize it so well? gave you a 5 star for the content and design!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 9 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Hi Kab . . . I have a series of lenses about Newbery Medal winning books. I plan to make this lens the featured book there for September. As for Out Of The Dust - I listened to this one as an audiobook and enjoyed it very much, though it had its sad parts.