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

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,248 ratings  ·  61 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

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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
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.
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
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
Sydney Sereci

"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
Callie Stillion
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
Rachel Choi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Megan Marie
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
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
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
Mary Elizabeth Brown
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
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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.
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.
A quality look at life during the time of the Dust Bowl.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rebecca Rash
My favorite Dear America, and, surprise! Written by a fifteen year old girl. I have found some of the best youth fiction to be written by youth. They have an advantage, I think. She did a great job for one so young; connecting you to the main character, and making you feel like you are right there beside her. The Dust Bowl has always interested me, and I found this an accurate and good portrayal of the times. Need to read again!
Kim Cabotaje
Just finished reading this with a small group of 3rd graders (reading on a 5th grade level), and we all really enjoyed it. It was engaging and informative--I learned lots of new things, too! We're now beginning a research project as there are lots of potential topics: dust pneumonia, the Great Depression, migrant camps, etc. It would make a good companion read to Esparanza Rising, as there are some interesting connections.
Mackenzie M
Grace Edwards best friend is Helen and Grace's sister is Ruth. Helen moves because of all of the dust storms and pneumonia. There are at least 7 storms and they leave right before one starts and hits. Ruth and Grace get dust pneumonia. Grace learns about the hospital life. Ruth finds out that her best friend dies from dust pneumonia. I think you would love this book. To find out what else happens read the book.
Considering this is a 6th grade level book, I really, really enjoyed it. A student left it in my office at school one day and I got to thumbing through it. It piqued my interest so I promptly checked it out of the school library when it was available. It's about a young girl's entries in her diary during the dust bowl times in Dalhart, Texas. I'm not usually a fan of historical fiction but this was a good one.
This book was great. I had just been listening to my Grandpa talk about this and found it pretty fascinating. Then Moriah brought home this book and I read it and many of the things my Grandpa said were in the book too. It is not exactly nonfiction, but the details are so accurate and it does have a history at the end, so I added it to the shelf.
Mary Bronson
I thought this was a great book. I loved Grace as a character. I could picture everything that was written in the book. I liked how the author created a historical fiction about the Dust Bowl. It seemed so real. I also think it is great how the author was only 15 years old.
I really enjoyed this book. It's hard to believe the author was only 14. It made a perfect companion for Out of the Dust--which is what I was hoping for (for a Thematic Unit I'm compiling for my YA Lit class). My daughter thinks I'm obsessed with the dust bowl.
I think this book was suspenseful in its own way because one minute someone's on the verge of dying, the next someone's leaving because of hard times. It is also very educational. It makes you realize how much this country has grown from those hard times.
Kyla Briggs
It's been a loooooooooooooooooooong time since I read this, but it was written by another red-haired girl from my small hometown about a little girl who lived in our hometown during the dustbowl. I think I read it in the eighth grade.
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