Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse


Book Summary

Billie Jo's family is struggling to make a success of farming in the dry lands of 1930's Oklahoma.  She is a piano player - good enough to be noticed for it in her small town. After an unbelievably tragic accident, life becomes even harder. 

Book Review

While this book includes an extremely disturbing incident, the story of Billie Jo's survival is inspiring, particularly for readers who have also had to move forward after tragic circumstances.

Written in free verse, this book makes a good mentor text for students examining that narrative structure.

Out of the Dust book cover
Out of the Dust

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Great Depression
  • Oklahoma Dustbowl
  • Free Verse Texts
  • Surviving Tragedy; Resilience
  • Family Relationships

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions Coming Soon**

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