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Children of the Dust B...
Jerry Stanley
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Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  507 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Illus. with photographs from the Dust Bowl era. This true story took place at the emergency farm-labor camp immortalized in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Ostracized as "dumb Okies," the children of Dust Bowl migrant laborers went without school--until Superintendent Leo Hart and 50 Okie kids built their own school in a nearby field.
Published 85 by Bantam Doubleday Dell
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Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my son for our history curriculum.

This is the story of a group of people who called themselves "Okies", having come from the Oklahoma region, who migrated to California from the Dust Bowl area during the Depression of the 1930's. Through extensive photographs and quotes from those who were youngsters at the time we get an insider's look at the Dust Bowl and what it was like to live there at the time. We are taken along for the ride as jalopies laden down with a
The summer I read GRAPES OF WRATH, I also found a little gem called HARVEST GYPSIES, a nonfiction piece. A collection of essays about Steinbeck's visits to migrant workers' camps in CA. This book tell sthe story of one of those camps.

Weedpatch...the name alone conveys the value others held for the workers and their families. Weedpatch. Kids were barred from attending schools in the neighboring towns, told they were dirty, ignorant, unworthy. So, one courageous man with a vision, Leo Hart, decid
I love some of the old educational movements where students participated fully in the entire process of the educational system: upkeep of the building, growing and raising of the food--learning by doing. Another testament proving that everybody learns more and better when there is personal buy-in and investment, which, in many ways, is completely opposite of what we have today.
I loved this book! Goes to show what a lot of hard work and even more determination can do!
Becky R.
As an educator, I found this book to be inspiring. Even if, however, I was not an educator, the history and information about this little school would still strike a chord in me. This book really does speak to the heart of all learning, that when you can spark in someone the essential kernel of what one needs, you can bring about great personal development. I realized that with cooperation between students and teachers, each student could begin to feel ownership of his or her own education. In m ...more
Photina Haumschilt
Genre: Picture Book

Living in the depression era was hard. It was even harder on families from the Dust Bowl area. With the promises of jobs, food, and shelter families packed up what they could and headed for California only to be disappointed when they arrived. Their dreams were dashed when they realized these promises were false. The government set up camps to help get the “Okies” back on their feet. In one such camp, called Weedpatch Camp, the children made a friend by the n
Overall, Children of the Dust Bowl is an excellent book to use when teaching students about the life of Great Plains farm laborers during the Great Depression and the long drought that plagued residents west of the Mississippi River in the 1930’s and early 1940’s. While the text is compelling, the black and white photographs of the people, their homes and modes of transportation add a level of depth that no words can describe. The photos almost let you see into the souls of these children and th ...more
Larry Aldridge
i think someone else should read this book because is tell you what happen in the bust also tells you how they took baths and drink water and live. it also tells you how they got to place to place. there are pictures that show you what they look like and what they did.
This book shows the emigration of the "Okies" to California during the Great Depression. It's heartbreaking, it's hopeful, it's powerful. The pictures, the songs, the stories all weave together to tell an important story. And as a person not particularly interested in history, you know it has to be good for me to recommend it!

Also, as a future teacher, I just really loved the story of Leo Hart and the School at Weedpatch Camp. What an inspiration for what we should do as teachers! As a teacher,
Sep 01, 2010 Janele rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Janele by:
This is one of the best books I've read that takes place during the Dust Bowl years. I was caught up in the awfulness of life for so many. No one can really imagine living in this era that wasn't there. I wasn't there but had no idea of how hard daily living was and how little most people had because of where they lived and nature letting loose on the innocent. I fear I could not have been as brave as these people had to be. And to add to the facts were so many pictures that I had a hard time ta ...more
I thought this was a very good book about the "Okies" who poured into California after being promised jobs but none were to be found. They lived in camps and were vilified and ridiculed. A Superintendent from a school district would come and play with the kids in the Weedpatch Camp and eventually purchased the land next to the camp. He taught them to build, plant, kill their own food and cook. All the things they needed in life. A crew of teachers also signed on and it turned out to be the best ...more
Grace Bradley
I found this book to be interesting to read. I had not learned a lot about the dust bowl but this book taught me many things about what happened during this time period in history as well as what the dust bowl actually was. The dust bowl came about because the wind blew so much that the dry soil would be blown away by the wind because of a massive drought. This affected some parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas. There was so much wind that dust would blow everywhere covering almost eve ...more
Jen Scott
The story of this book was very, very interesting. I had actually never heard of all the trials and challenges the "Okies" had to go through. There were some horrible things that happened to them, but it was encouraging to see them rise from their troubles and make great lives for themselves. The only thing I didn't love about this book was the author made it boring sometimes. It was really hard to get through some of the sections.
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Children of the Dust Bowl briefly shares the trials and triumphs of Okies moving from Okalahoma to California. They were looked down upon and rejected. Their children were ridiculed and turned out of schools. Leo Hart saw the Okie children and knew they needed a safe place to live and learn. He helped to build Weedpatch school and became their voice and their savior.

The Dust Bowl was such an interesting part of American history. I knew bits and pieces, but never in-depth knowledge. This short pi
Richard (Rick)
I loved this book! It's a short story of the Oklahoma cast-offs of the Dustbowl who immigrated to California and instead of opportunity found starvation and homelessness. This book talks about how it affected the children, and tells the story of a compassionate superintendent who made it his responsibility to help the Oklahoma kids build their own school (because they weren't welcome at other public schools). It was inspiring to see how the kids helped to build and develop the school, and took p ...more
Penny Johnson
"The Grapes of Wrath" is effectively brought to life with informative period photographs. The eyewitness accounts of those who lived through the Dust Bowl and the migration on the Mother Road to California brought tears to my eyes. Comparisons with today's controversy over illegal immigrants are hard to ignore.

Public school districts desperate for money could learn a lesson from the account of Weedpatch School. "...the newly hired principal of the school worked side by side with the teachers and
Anyone bummed out by Grapes of Wrath and the plight of the displaced "Okies" during the dust bowl and subsequent California migration should pick up this book. Over 60 photos, an unexpected hero, and the satisfaction of a non-fiction happy ending make this book a gem.
Made me want to dust off my copy of Grapes of Wrath. The photos were especially moving. A nice reminder of a day when American children valued and appreciated the opportunity for an education - probably because everything else was taken from them. Love Leo Hart.
My daughter recommended this book after she had to read it in a college lit. class. Simple, sad, and a true story that inspires us to keep on going when the going gets tough! Motivated me to pull out Grapes of Wrath and read more about the Okies in California.
The true story of Dust Bowl migrants who made the difficult trip to California in search of promised jobs. Once there, they endured even more hardship living in temporary camps and hardly making enough money to survive. Perhaps the worse blow was the racism and hatred these "Okies" encountered from locals. The story tells of children and teens who lived in Weedpatch Camp and built their own school within their living community. Hated by the public schools they had attended, superintendent Leo Ha ...more
People today could hardly appreciate what it really meant to live on nothing. This look into the past was wonderful. I love the man who chose to build a school out of nothing for people who were seen as a pestilence. He begged and borrowed what he could to get things started. The students then put their hearts into the project and went to school a half day and built the school the other half of the day, learning technical skills along the way. They started a farm and became self-sufficient. I ju ...more
This was loaned to me by my Mother-in-Law, herself a child of the Dust Bowl. As a native of the San Joaquin Valley, and having read "The Grapes of Wrath," I thought I knew about the mass migration and how the folks who made the trek were impacted. I did not. This wonderful story highlights the hard work of one school administrator to make sure the children who were scorned in Bakersfield had a chance at a good, no, great education. It also features many pictures, which I found fascinating. Did y ...more
Wesley Morgan
This seems to be the "happy-ending" version of The Grapes of Wrath. It is especially for those in the teaching field, but it is an inspiring story for anyone. This book shows that even those who are labelled "dumb" or "lazy" by society (including racial prejudices) can become successful as long as there is someone who believes in them. Education is a powerful tool, and though this amazing, true story focuses on Leo Hart, the founder of the Weedpatch school, it is clear that the school had such a ...more
Cory Schulz
This book is about the drying up of farms which basically make them dust bowls. This affected Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and California. A lot of farmers in each of those states were losing their farms to banks which caused the largest migration in U.S history. This book is about the children that immigrated making a difference in their new home and making something of themselves. This is a great book to read to a classroom when there is low social economic status kids in the room. Not to poi ...more
During the 1930s the percentage of children attended to school increased because of the Great Depression, but many of the children were treated poorly in some school. Great Depression helped increase percent of students despite schools closing, but could not prevent discrimination.
Okie children were one group of children who were treated poorly in school. The Okie children were those poor children who travel with their family to another states to find jobs or place to live, many of their famil
Children of the dust bowl by Jerry Stanley
84 pages
1 book

This was a very sad book. It is about the tragic dust bowl from 1936-1940. It is even more sad because it happened right after the great depression and people were already poor enough and this made it even worse than it already was. everyone from there would move to California to get a job but a lot of them wouldn't survive the trip because they didn't pack enough water for the Mojave dessert or there car ran out of gas and they
Cindy Benabderrahman
This true story starts “on the plains of Oklahoma when the sky was red and the land was being carried away by the winds of despair.” It is a true account of the events and people who were forced out of Oklahoma by the disasters of the Dust Bowl, and their migration to California in hopes of a more promising future. When they arrived there, they faced harsh prejudices from the Californians, and they were placed in Weedpatch Camp, one of the camps for "Okies." They had left the prairies they loved ...more
this book is about the okie children. the okies were kids that migrated with their families from oklahoma and out of the dust to california were they thought they could find work. unfortunatly california advertised to much about the extr hands needed on the farms and what not, in result to many people migrated to cali. towns would post signs on the edges of their town and say that there are no okies wanted her, move on if your looking for work, and things like that. the okie children were not e ...more
Week 13
This book is about the true hardships felt by families living in Oklahoma during the 1930's drought and the Great Depression. The combination of no rain, falling crop prices, and an ever present cloud of dust was enough to make some "Okies" pack up everything they own and move west to California in search of work and fertile farm land, only to find low paying jobs and no where to live. Camps were created to hold the massive amounts of newcomers. Leo Hart, recognizing the need to educate t
1993 Orbis Pictus Award Winner

In the 1930s, multi-year droughts across several southern states dried out the soil and contributed to massive dust storms that destroyed people's livestock, crops, and homes. This time period became known as the "Dust Bowl." The destruction led to one of the largest migrations in U. S. history. Many people, particularly Oklahomans or "Okies," made the difficult move to California hoping to find work. When they got there, they were disappointed, as there were dozens
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“I’ve learned there’s no such thing as wasted writing or bad writing. All writing leads to better writing.”

Jerry Stanley is the author of several highly praised books for young readers, including Children of the Dust Bowl, winner of the Orbis Pictus Award; I Am an American, an ALA Notable Book; and Hurry Freedom, a National Book Award nominee and winner of the Orbis Pictus Award. He is a former pr
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“of Weedpatch Camp were working in the fields. Perhaps as many as fifty children were playing baseball at the school or swimming in the pool when three cars driven by teenage boys began to circle the playground. The teenage boys got out of the cars and squared off in front of Eddie and a line of other sixteen-year-old boys from the camp. When the intruders hurled rocks into the swimming pool, the Okie boys charged forward and the Fight was on. Some men from the camp rushed over to the playground to restore order, but by then the invaders were in retreat with bloody noses and scuffed faces. That” 0 likes
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