Monday, December 15, 2014

Non-fiction Monday: The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown. 80 p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October, 2013. 9780547815503. (Purchased)

I purchased this for my school library collection mostly because it fits in beautifully with a unit the sixth grade language arts teachers do around Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust. The reviews were strong and I enjoyed other books by the author. I finally got around to reading it and would like to recommend that any teacher or librarian who covers The Dust Bowl in their curriculum purchase this title. Never have I read a more kid-friendly and cogent explanation of the myriad causes, scientific as well as historic, of this devastating disaster.

There are plenty of startling black and white photos from the era that cause one to gape. The art in this book evokes a similar response. The palette of yellows and browns perfectly mirror the desolation. A photo from 1935 is included on the Selected Bibliography page and, as an ominous reminder that dust storms can still happen, a photo of a dust storm over Phoenix in 2011. Source notes are also provided.

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