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Children of the Dust Bowl by Jerry Stanley
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Children of the Dust Bowl

by Jerry Stanley

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The Dust Bowl happened in the United states of America's Western states during 1936-1940. It was a very hard time for the Great Plains because these sand storms came with great wind. People had to prepare for the storms by protecting their families, crops, and livestock. The Dust Bowl brought poorness to all of the Farmers because their crops were ruined. A lot of people also died from the storms. It was thick clouds of dust, red dirt, and you could see it coming from approximately 30 miles or more away. Farmers would tie all of their equipment down, and put their cattle in their barns. Then they would have to find safety for themselves. Most people went in cellars because inside the house was too dangerous. They broke down doors and windows and dust poured in. People also died just from breathing it in effecting their lungs with pneumonia or cancer and later dying. The houses had to be cleaned out every day or the dust would over power their house. It was said that they would need shovels to clean their houses out. Soon enough, people started migrating West to California where there was hope and jobs. California didn't need as many workers that did come and ended up getting over populated. Dust Bowl families were broke down on the side of Route 66 for days and people were living in their vehicles and tents. There was no hope. The children were called stupid and the teachers did not want to educate them. That was until Leo Hart stepped up and gave these children a school of their own, and they were all successful. ( )
  acreel | Nov 18, 2014 |
Before reading this book I have never heard of the Dust Bowl. This book was very helpful to change that. The author wrote this book so that all readers would understand the struggles that the "Okies" went through. The author wrote about the children who were tormented and almost deprived of an education. This touched me because as an aspiring teacher and parent, I could not imagine denying a child an education. The illustrations were pictures that people had submitted. At the end of the book the author credited the people who lent the pictures. ( )
  jpons | Nov 16, 2014 |
(6.5)
  mshampson | Oct 17, 2014 |
This was a wonderful read. This is a true story of the 1930’s Dust Bowl that left a large part of the Midwest barren and inhospitable. This catastrophe forced thousands of “Oakies” to relocate to California, where many of them worked for nearly nothing just to watch their children starve. The desperation that these human beings suffered is hard to even think about, but what I found truly mind-blowing (I don’t know why) was the cruelty that Oakies suffered at the hands of the privileged California residents.

As an educator, the most valuable thing about this book was the model that it gave me of what a highly effective school looks like. I believe that there are many drawbacks to the way that schools have been run--where students are passive recipients of knowledge. This school that these amazing people built from the ground up is so incredible and inspiring. The Oakie school at Weedpatch Camp is unlike any other school that ever existed (to my knowledge) complete with an Olympic sized swimming pool, a farm, and even an airplane--incredible! While I know that it is a hopeless dream to imagine that schools could look like this in the future, it is the spirit of what Leo Hart, his staff, and the Oakie children accomplished at Weedpatch Camp, where school is very hands-on, active, sensitive to student competencies, and where everyone is accountable for themselves. I loved this book! I love the photographs in this book! They give me such a vivid sense of the times.

This book could be quite useful to me in an English classroom. It deals with concepts such as the environment, human destructiveness, social justice, class issues, and discrimination. It is a wonderful story that could hold the attention of many students. The one thing that I wish was expanded upon a bit more was the mention that there were only two African-American students who went to school at Weedpatch Camp. I would have liked to know some of the specifics of that situation. ( )
  epenton | May 5, 2014 |
The compelling story of the victims of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl in the Great Depression 1930s who traveled Route 66 seeking a better life as farm workers in California. Once they arrived, they found anything but a land of milk and honey, and were rejected by the Californians.

Enter School Superintendent Leo Hart, who saw a need in the form of children with no school to attend, and did something about it. An amazing story of compassion in the midst of neglect, illustrated with original historic photographs. A true Grapes of Wrath story. ( )
  jpmeehan | May 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0517880946, Paperback)

Illus. with photographs from the Dust Bowl era. This true story took place at the emergency farm-labor camp immortalized in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Ostracized as "dumb Okies," the children of Dust Bowl migrant laborers went without school--until Superintendent Leo Hart and 50 Okie kids built their own school in a nearby field.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:55 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Describes the plight of the migrant workers who traveled from the Dust Bowl to California during the Depression and were forced to live in a federal labor camp and discusses the school that was built for their children.

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