Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

Since this is still poetry month I thought I would highlight a wonderful book that in my opinion started a trend.   The novel or epic story in verse is nothing really new but this is the first time, in my mind, that it had translated so well to a children's novel.  

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse which has won numerous awards such as the Newbery is an incredible story told in a way that makes it really accessible.   I loved the story of Billie Jo as soon as I read it, the characters are so vivid and the way Ms Hesse describes the Dust Bowl of the Depression years is wonderful.  I think this started one of the better trends in children's publishing because even the reluctant reader could understand and absorb the story.  

This book also enabled those writers who came after it's publication to really play on their strengths.  For example my sister Ann Burg who wrote All the Broken Pieces is really a poet~so telling a story in free verse is so natural for her.  

Any book in poetry form are like I said great for reluctant readers but also make terrific read alouds too.   Something to be enjoyed by all. 

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