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Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards (Dear America)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,545 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
In sixteen-year-old Katelan Janke's first Dear America book, we meet Grace Edwards, a little girl growing up in the heart of the Texas panhandle, in the midst of the Dust Bowl. Fierce, dust-filled winds ravage the plains and threaten the town's agricultural livelihood, creating poverty and despair among Grace's neighbors. Will her family's farm survive?
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Scholastic Inc. (first published September 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,782)
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Jeanette
Aug 29, 2016 Jeanette rated it liked it
This teen wrote the events of dust bowl panhandle area Texas in her diary. It can be read in one sitting and is super simple language. She relates the weather conditions, her family's difficulties in keeping the dust out of the house (this was truly horrendous) and the crop and economics of the farmers, just like her father. She relates in detail the dust pneumonia realities and the death of children. One of them her sister's best friend. She takes part in the hospital placements and care for so ...more
Art
This book made me of "Grapes of Wrath" by Steinbeck and "Texas" by Michener.

Six years of dust and depression. Finding good out of bad or no so good sitution.
Milking cows, cooking by wood stove, canning and vegetable gardening.
Simple things that most of us do not know how to do.
California not the "promised land" as many thought.
Political & Governmental programs that worked and didn't work.
School lunch and Soil conservation good. others not so.
Made me thankful for what I have today.
Family and
...more
Emily Whelchel
Mar 06, 2016 Emily Whelchel rated it liked it
What I Liked
My family is from the Panhandle and still lives here today. My grandma told me stories of surviving the Depression and of huddling with her classmates in the basement of her school while a duster turned the sky as black as midnight. She says her teacher let her be the one to shut the cellar latch and it was considered an honor to be chosen for the task.

Because this time period is such a rich part of my family history and geography, it was interesting to read. I was also astonished t
...more
Katlin
Sep 10, 2015 Katlin rated it liked it
This is one book that I re-read every so often.
Beverly
Mar 21, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
All of us have heard of the Dust Bowl era. This is an account of what it was like to have lived through it. Wind pushed sand and dirt into every crack available and women would hang wet sheets in front of windows and doors to catch it. Still, there would be airborn particles that would mix in bread dough while you were kneading it. Milk, cream, and butter would sometimes be gritty, even though it was covered. Those lucky enough with a root cellar, would shelter there with wet towels over their n ...more
Paul Baker
Nov 01, 2014 Paul Baker rated it really liked it
This Dear America novel of a farm family in Dalhart, Texas in 1935, written by fifteen year old Katlan Janke is presented in the form of a child's diary.

Grace Edwards receives her diary on Saturday, February 16, 1935 as a gift from her friend Helen for her twelfth birthday. She makes her first entry the following day sitting alone in the hayloft. We learn that her father is a farmer, that they have their own spread just outside of Dalhart, Texas, and that besides her mother, she also has a littl
...more
Kelsey Hanson
The fact that this book was written by a sixteen year old shows that she does have some talent. But this wasn't my absolute favorite Dear America book. It was pretty slow paced and the characters were a bit on the bland side. The historical facts were interesting especially because my grandparents grew up during this time period so I can see how they might have lived during this time period.
Sydney Sereci
Dec 09, 2014 Sydney Sereci rated it it was amazing

"Survival in the Storm:The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards" is a fantastic Historical novel written by Katelan Janke about how it feels to live during the Great Depression. I would defiantly rate this book 5 stars because I couldn't put the book down and the author, katelan Janke, made the book very easy to understand, made a clear storyline, and made it easy to connect and relate to. I also rated this book 5 stars because unlike other historical novels, This story was actually entraining and k
...more
Callie Stillion
Mar 21, 2014 Callie Stillion rated it really liked it
Shelves: all-others
Grace`s time is hard, all the cases of dust pneumonia, all those moving, and all those dying from terrible cases of dust pneumonia. The dusts, or dusters, have hit the Edwards` family hard, and both Grace and Ruth have lost their best friends, though in different ways. Grace`s best friend, Helen has to move because of dusters, and her family feels it`s unsafe. Ruth`s best friend, Hannah, died from a bad, bad case of dust pneumonia. When Graces finds a friend, David, he moves away. That`s because ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 03, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
This is the story of Grace, a young girl living in Texas in the early 30's. It was a time of the Great Depression and a time of terrible dust storms in the Oklahoma/Texas area on up. The storms were caused by bad farming practices and weather and became known as the Great Dust Bowl storms.

The book does a very good job of showing just how severe the storms were and the types of effects it had on the people who lived in the area. Some finally gave up and left, many moving to California where they
...more
Brittany Cullen
This book focused on the dust bowl of 1935. This is a topic that is not really taught throughout school but it should be, the people who lived during this time in texas went through draughts every year and many dust storms, some not as bad as others. This would be a great book to read because it has a family that goes through it and having to block all the doors and protect the livestock and staying safe because this storm was bad. I really enjoyed reading about this because I find the dust bowl ...more
Rachel Choi
Jan 28, 2015 Rachel Choi rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tarissa
Jan 18, 2013 Tarissa rated it it was amazing
This diary about living in the Texas' Dust Bowl was a wonderful read.
What I find fascinating about it, is that when I was about halfway through the book, I discovered that it was written by a fifteen-year-old girl. I was impressed by this! I hadn't detected anything in the writing style that seemed unusual. The book seemed just as accomplished as if an adult wrote it.

The author, Katelan Janke was in the 6th grade when she entered Scholastic's Dear America writing contest. It was only a 5 page en
...more
Megan
Sep 03, 2010 Megan rated it it was amazing
This one I thought was particularly good. I am from Kansas so we were right in the heart of the Dust Bowl. For my degree in college I had to take Kansas History and learning about the Dirty Thirties was really fun an interesting. So I cannot believe I waited so long to read this specific Dear America novel. Grace Edwards is from Dalhart, Texas and in 1935 the Dust Bowl was still four years from getting its first good rain. I like that the author depicted the families as just normal everyday peop ...more
Rebecca
Feb 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
At first I wasn't sure how good this new Dear America book would be, since Katelan Janke, the author, is just fifteen years old. But I was pleasantly surprised, since she has written a book just as good as many of the Dear America books written by adult authors. Katelan Janke has written a fictional diary of a young girl living in Katelan's own hometown during the Great Depression. Twelve-year-old Grace Edwards has lived on a farm near Dalhart, Texas for her whole life. But it's 1935, and the re ...more
Ana Mardoll
Feb 24, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Survival in the Storm (Dust Bowl) / 0-439-21599-4

I realize that it's a common tactic in children's literature to make the adults in their lives capricious, unfair, or stupid in an attempt to heighten tension and propel drama that might not otherwise happen in the presence of consistent, fair, intelligent adults. But I've come to expect more from the Dear America series, and I am disappointed with "Survival in the Storm".

Grace's parents have always dreamed of owning their own farm and the Texas d
...more
Young Adult Historical Vault
Aug 22, 2016 Young Adult Historical Vault rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this so much! A very sweet and heartwarming story, with plenty of plot and excitement to move things along. I would have liked to see it longer, just because I enjoyed the characters and family so very much. A very nice slice-of-life story with plenty of historical detail, and overall an awesome effort.

For my full recap and review, check out Young Adult Historical Vault https://yahistoricalvault.com/2016/02...
Melissa Helm
I think that this book was really interesting, it taught you a lot about how life was like in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. It made me grateful for how easy my life is, and it made me wonder at how people lived on so little money, and how people coped with the terrifying dust storms. This book had a little romance, and it had a lot about dealing with loss; of friends, cows, and money.
Mary Elizabeth Brown
Feb 04, 2014 Mary Elizabeth Brown rated it it was amazing
I remember being able to taste dust in my mouth as I was reading this book. My teacher would read us chapters after recess. I remember being so thirsty from playing outside in the sun and feeling like I might never get to drink water again. It s a powerful, relatable, and historical telling of a tragic time in history. I still love this book.
Samantha Sullivan
Oct 30, 2014 Samantha Sullivan rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
Aug 20, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it
I picked up a bunch of dear America from the library book sale. I finally read one and thought it was a nice story full of history. The back has real historical notes and pictures. This one was written by a fifteen year old that won a contest. Pretty impressive. I think my kids will enjoy this series.
Aubrianna Thelen
Sep 10, 2015 Aubrianna Thelen rated it it was amazing
The Dear America series is very good. This book is about a girl and her family that get stuck in the dust bowl. She shares about everything that happens to them during the storm. Some sad things happen to the people that went through it and she tells us all about it.
Kara_kkc
Sep 10, 2016 Kara_kkc rated it it was amazing
This book is a great mixture of happiness and sadness it was very sad when Hannah died or when Helen moved away. It was also happy like when Ruth gave Lenora miss Annie.
Nicole
May 04, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
I liked this book because of the mystery and adventures. You just never know what comes next. I would suggest ages 9-14 should read it because it teaches many lessons.
Musiquedevie
Sep 26, 2014 Musiquedevie rated it really liked it
A quality look at life during the time of the Dust Bowl.
KatieLynn
Mar 30, 2009 KatieLynn rated it it was amazing
Survival in the Storm was my first "Dear America" book I had ever completed. I started one before, but never finished it....
Anyway, it is delighting that my first one is written by a fifteen year old! Well, she was fifteen at the time, now twenty-four. This book was a true remodling of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression era. Katelan put beautiful images and powerful words into her book. I plan on reading more "Dear America" books. I hope they will be as awe-striking as this one.
Molly
Nov 11, 2012 Molly added it
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
Jean
Apr 08, 2011 Jean rated it really liked it
I picked up this "Dear America" series book just so I could say I had at least read one. I was pleasantly surprised to learn information about the Dust Bowl that I didn't really know before. Though this book was somewhat bland, and I found several editing errors I was interested to discover in "The About the Author" afterword at the end of the book that the author was only fifteen years old. Pretty amazing. Which is why I bumped my intended 3 stars up to 4.
Peggy
Sep 26, 2009 Peggy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
The diary of a young girl in the dustbowl era of Texas. Although it is a composition rather than an actual diary it was fascinating to read. This is actually a youth book but I wouuld recommend it to anyone. Having been born in the same general area of Texas added poignancy to the story for me. My father's family went through this period of time. He was about the same age as the girl in the story. It really hits home how easy we have it today.
Amity☺Currently-Awesome☺
Nov 17, 2012 Amity☺Currently-Awesome☺ rated it really liked it
Grace Edwards lives with her Daddy, Mama, Ruth, and Miss Annie (Ruth's Rag doll)They have to survive the terrible Dust storms that come mostly everyday. The Edwards and worried because dust pneumonia is going around and you can die. Ruth's best friend, Hannah died from it. Helen, Grace's best friend moved to California because they couldn't stand the storms.

I think this book is a great one because it is heartbreaking and joyful at the same time.
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