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227 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1987
- you are an only child and all of you, your father and mother, are all bone and skin because of poverty.At least the Joad family, in Steinbeck 1940 novel is an extended one and the men were able to work in the farm so they left Sallisaw for California. The Kelby family has no choice but to stay and wait for their death. The Joad family has 2-4 healthy men unlike here where there is only the father Bayard who works alone in the farm but unfortunately gets cancer in the middle of the story. At least, Rose of Sharon Joad Rivers of Grapes was healthy and her milk could feed the dying man. Here, the protagonist is a 14-y/o Bille Jo Kelby who’s still studying and only plays a piano to help the family and she has no milk yet. Okay this is a children’s book so let’s not go there.
- you set your pregnant mum on fire and when she gave birth, she and the infant died
- you cannot play piano anymore because your hand got burned too
- your father has cancer and one time you found him digging his own grave
"the way i see it,
hard times aren't only about money,
hard times are about losing spirit,
and what happens when dreams dry up."
Because of Dust
(A Book Review of Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust)