Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust, a Newberry Award winning title, will be discussed by a group of Westmeade Students over the next few weeks.

Out of the Dust is one of an increasing number of books that tell their story through poetry. Karen Hesse uses blank verse to tell Billie Jo's story. Poetry is one of the most powerful ways to convey meaning. Why do you think that might be true?

If you would like to be part of our discussion, please sign in and lets get started. A good place to begin is at our website http://www.westmeade.net/Library/outofthedust.htm. here you can explore another true dust bowl story from the 1930s. You can also explore the sights and sounds of the time. This can help you understand what life might have been like for Billie Jo.

Even today when the dust blows in the panhandle of Oklahoma and Texas the dust permeates everything. I once hung out white sheets and towels to dry in the warm dry air when a dust storm came unexpectedly. The burnt siena earth permeated those towels and sheets. They never returned to their white color. They were always tinged with the color of the soil.

Just like my towels, Billie Jo is permeated wtih the dust. She asks herself how she can get "out of the dust" when it is inside of her. We will experience how hard her life can be. Yet there is great hope and resilience in her. This book is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for deep discussion as we learn how she comes to terms with some harsh things in life.