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Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp Paperback – July 13, 1993


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Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp + Out Of The Dust
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1120L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 85 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers; 1st edition (July 13, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517880946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517880944
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-- Stanley has crafted a well-researched, highly readable portrait of the ``Okies'' driven to California by the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s and the formidable hardships they faced. After first detailing the desperation of their lives in the Midwest, he follows them on their trek across the western United States to the promise of work in California, where their hopes were dashed. After providing this thorough, sympathetic context of their plight, he zeroes in on the residents of Weedpatch Camp, one of several farm-labor camps built by the federal government. The remainder of the book is devoted to educator Leo Hart and the role he played in creating a ``federal emergency school.'' Interviews with Hart and the school's former teachers and pupils make Children of the Dust Bowl useful to students of oral history, as well as of the Depression. A thorough index enhances the research value of the book, although it is interesting enough to enjoy for itself. The book is lavishly illustrated with period black-and-white photographs. An informative and inspirational bit of American history. --Joyce Adams Burner, formerly at Spring Hill Middle School, KS
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The story is inspiring, and Stanley has recorded the details with passion and dignity. An excellent curriculum item."--(starred) Booklist.   

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I shed bittersweet tears as I read this wonderful book.
Kenneth H. Hartman
This book is a great read for children and adults about the Dust Bowl, the migration, and California living in the 1930s.
Sylviastel
The book was so interesting and such a quick read that I recommend it for both children and adults.
Notastatist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1997
Format: Paperback
We don't often think of discrimination being directed against whites in the United States, but that was the case for many "Okies" who migrated to California in the 1920s and 30s. In the community of Weedpatch, CA--a small farm town near Bakersfield--the children of the white migrant farmworkers were not allowed to attend school with the other children in the community.

This book tells the story of the man who fought the community and the powers that be in order to start a school for these kids to make sure they got a decent education. His achievements exceeded his ambitions, as the school was a well deserved success. Many of the students went on to greater things, something that would have been hard to imagine before.

"Children of the Dust Bowl" was written for kids, but anyone interested in this unique time in our country's history would enjoy it.

I had to priviledge of being a student of Jerry Stanley's at Cal State Bakersfield, so I am somewhat biased in my praise for him and his work. This book deserves all of it, though. It is an excellent work in living history and well worth your time
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tom Brody on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
The writing in this book is excellent, flowing evenly from page to page. Many of the photographs within are pure art, having been taken by Russell Lee, Dorothea Lange, and others. These two people are the Pieter Bruegel and Thomas Hart Benton (depicting plain, everyday folk) of American photography. This book relates a small chunk of American history, to be sure, but more than that, it relates universal themes of the human condition. Overall, the book relates the brutal conditions of the dust bowl, the migration over the mountains and desert, taunting and prejudice from settled Californians, and eventual attainment of excellence, as revealed by the construction and maintenance of the Weedpatch School, which eventually became a model school in the community. My 5 1/2 year old enjoyed reading every page, and found particular mirth in the unusual daily chore that the dust bowl children did with their cows. The description of this unusual chore is worth the price of the book. What was this daily chore? One way to find out is to borrow or purchase this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Pesko on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is an excellent companion to the historical ficiton book "Bud, Not Buddy." By reading aloud sections of Children of the Dustbowl, teachers could build some of the background knowledge that would help children understand how the daily lives of the average person changed as a result of the Great Depression and the 5-year drought in the Midwest.

Given the devastation of Hurriicane Katrina, this book also offers insight on what can happen when large numbers of people must migrate because of weather-related disasters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth H. Hartman on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much has been said about this book. All I can say is, "wow" what a book. I shed bittersweet tears as I read this wonderful book. Although I never lived in Weedpatch, I was born in 1935 to migrant Arkies. We lived in the Linnell Camp near Visalia. This story is my life. Oh how I could relate. This book was like a motion picture, that I was in, and I traveled right down the road with it. I don't know if a person could relate if they haven't lived this life, but, I know that this book is so well written and illustrated that surely a person with a heart and caring spirit should be able to follow this book even if they could never imagine the deep down hardships, how the kids and families stuck together, bonded and had a good time. A lot of us could add our names to the long list of Weedpatch kids that became a success; it only takes hope, dreams, a longing for a better tomorrow, and a can do spirit. It is always an added benefit to have a man like Mr. Hart to believe in you. I loved this man and only wish he were still alive so that I could thank him for caring and acting on those cares.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By fra7299 VINE VOICE on December 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Jerry Stanley's note to his book The Children of the Dust Bowl, he infers that the usage of "Okie" has two meanings: one being a derogatory term used to abuse, and the other a term associated with a people "determination to accept hardship without showing weakness." This small message epitomizes the mood of his book, as it was the migrants who travelled West in the hopes of arriving to California with a better life, and relates many of the hardships and obstacles they faced along the way. Associated with the author's note is the introduction, which speaks of the publicity and coming to be of John Steinbeck's highly successful yet very controversial novel The Grapes of Wrath, a novel which focuses on one of these Okie families, the Joads, as they make their way amid the prospect of better lives. Stanley gives insight into the reaction from those who were depicted in Steinbeck's novel--those who lived in the southern San Joaquin Valley--as well as those came from the many "Dust Bowl" states.

As far as the book itself, it is a testament to this trek west, filled with personal stories and black and white photos depicting the Dust Bowl and its consequences to the southern farmers, the migrant families in their jalopies with all their possessions, their troubles along Mother Road Highway 66 as they head out, the various camps set up for the Okies as they headed west, as well as Weedpatch Camp and school and the activities done there. These pictures capture this era of time during the Depression as well as the story itself. The book concludes with excerpts about the building of Weedpatch School, as well as the adjustments many of the Okies made when they arrived here.

Stanley's book is a powerful story, one which localizes the history of those who made the bold trip out to the West. It also serves as a wonderful resource for anyone studying this time period.

Recommended!
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