In this free-verse novel, Karen Hesse tells the story of a young girl, Billie Jo, during the time of the Great Depression. Billie Jo endures great hardship with great strength — she has lost her mother, and her father is struggling grieving the loss. With themes of hope and courage, Out of the Dust can help today’s readers learn about the realities and difficulties of the Great Depression, empathize with the people that lived them, and to remember that hope is a great and powerful asset in any difficult situation. Out of the Dust is great for the young adult reader interested in historical fiction, or a courageous teenaged female protagonist.

Awards: Newbery Medal, Scott O’Dell Award

Published 1997, Scholastic