Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 5 - 8Grades 5 - 8X5.319756
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.
Published on January 1, 2006 by Listening Library
ISBN-10: 0307259668
ISBN-13: 9780307259660
117 Book Reviews
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  • super10
    super10Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:28 am55 starsFeatured
    This book was one of the best, as it narrates the struggles of the Dust Bowl perfectly, while creating great characters that the reader can relate to. This book changed my perspective of the Dust Bowl completely, and Karen Hesse truly delivers a gem, for anybody wanting to know more about the Dust Bowl. This story starts in the 1930's, and takes place in The Great Plains. Billie Jo, an average girl at the time, knows life as normal, and the way it should be. Inspired by her mother, she is passionate to play the piano, and becomes good at it. But, The Dust Bowl comes into town, and changes everything that counts as normal. To find out how, you have to read the free-verse book itself, Out of The Dust! The story teaches an important lesson to the people that read it, which is that it's never to late to change. Billie Jo constantly changes for the better, which happens a lot in this book. This book was truly a masterclass, and I rate it five stars because of its perfect description of history. I recommend this book to anybody that wants to learn about the Dust Bowl, as this book describes it nearly perfectly!
    • damnijemimah
      damnijemimahThursday, February 28, 2019 at 3:27 am55 stars
      The book uses facts from the actual dust bowl and combines them into the book about a family who goes through some hardships. Out of the Dust is made up of poems some long some short but they still combine facts with things that never happened. The main character plays piano 🎹.
      • dtgdjxygdtf
        dtgdjxygdtfTuesday, February 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm44 stars
        I really love Out of the dust. Star: I really love the way the text is based. It is written in poetry. Star: I really like how it is based around the dust bowl and the great depression. The main character Billie Jo and her family are very poor. Her father works while she plays the piano for a little money. Her mother does not work. At the beginning of the book her mother died giving birth to her son. This made Billie Jo and her father very sad. Her father had a hard time talking to Billie Jo about this but he finally overcomes this. Wish:I really hope there is a sequel because I really want to know if she will continue to play the piano for “Arly’s band”
        • MeghanSTuesday, February 14, 2017 at 10:02 am
          The book was interesting, I never really knew how bad the storms actually were until I heard about the living conditions Billie Jo and her family were facing topped off with all the drama in their family.
          • caitlynp
            caitlynpTuesday, February 14, 2017 at 5:37 am
            The book the Out of the Dust, was a fun, sad, and interesting. The book got boring sometimes but got more exciting as major events came.
            • HeMonday, February 13, 2017 at 7:13 pm
              Karen Hesse really made Billie Jo's life interesting with her mom dead but it was sad for me.😢
              • nateOliMonday, February 13, 2017 at 6:19 am
                Out of the Dust was a fascinating book about the dust back in the 1900's. It was interesting how big the dust storms were and Billie Jo's life.
                • taviane
                  tavianeFriday, February 10, 2017 at 10:09 am
                  The book Out of the dust follows a Girl named Billie Jo through her hardships, the depression
                  • chloedomico
                    chloedomicoFriday, February 10, 2017 at 10:07 am
                    I thought it was a good book, even though it got boring sometimes while they were leading up to major events and it was sad at times. It was very well written.
                    • kramergirl
                      kramergirlFriday, February 10, 2017 at 10:06 amFeatured
                      This book fills young readers minds with all the troubles from our past as a county. It shows readers to always have hope in rough times. I personally liked this book, but i believe it should have more action because at times, it lost my attention at times. This book was dramatic! but also at many times very sad and depressing. But overall it let you reflect back on your own life and made you realize yours isn't as bad as you thought it was. It also reminds you that family is forever, no matter what happened