Friday, September 18, 2009

Newbery Junkie

Hello. My name is Amy and I am a Newbery Junkie.

When I go to the library to check-out a book, those are the only ones I get. Seriously. I love them.

In college I took a Children's Literature course. I loved THAT so much, I took it twice. By the same teacher. 5-ish years apart.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I found myself reading the 1998 Newbery Award winning author Karen Hesse. The book was called Out of the Dust.

It was a book I hadn't heard anything about. I read the back and it sounded interesting. Here's what it said...
"A terrible accident has transformed Billie Jo's life, scarring her inside and out. Her mother is gonge. Her father can't talk about it. And the one thing that might make her feel better - playing th epiano - is impossible with her wounded hands.

To make matters worse, dust storms are devastating the family farm and all the farms nearby. While others flee from the dust bowl, Billie Jo is left to find peace in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma - and in the surprising landscape of her heart."
Sounds really good doesn't it? When I opened the cover to begin reading I saw that it was written free verse from Billie Jo's point of view. It was unlike any book I had read. I loved every moment (I read it in one afternoon).

One of my favorite parts in the book is toward the end. Billie Jo has been through a lot with her family. Her life has changed dramatically and this is her very intuitive observation (written in the style of the book).
"The way I see it, hard times aren't only
about money,
or drought,
or dust.
Hard times are about losing spirit,
and hope,
and what happens when dreams dry up."
Isn't that profound? Especially coming from this particular character. Please, go to your local library or buy it at Amazon (link below). It is a must read!

What was your favorite book this summer? 
Why did you like it? 
Do I need to read it?!