Link to Voices from the Dust Bowl:  The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941

  Historical Fiction
  Contributors:
  Leslie Cunningham (LC)
  Danielle Novak (DN)
  Robin Sitarski (RS)

Listen to this recording of Mrs. Flora Robertson talking about dust storms in Oklahoma. Includes an original poem beginning, "I came to Oklahoma before it was a state". Date & Location of Interview: August 5, 1940, Shafter FSA Camp; LOC Call Number: AFS 4120a1; LOC Digital ID: AFCTS 4120a1. (MP3 Format...815204 bytes)

Armstrong, Jennifer. Mary Mehan Awake. New York: Knopf, 1997 - Picking up two years after we left Mairhe Mehan in The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan, this novel finds Mairhe, now Mary, numbed by the terrors of war and disease. Escaping the devastation of the Washington, D.C. infirmaries where she nursed wounded soldiers, Mary travels to Upstate New York to be a domestic and start healing her soul. (RS)

Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. New York: Avon Books, 1990 - The year is 1832 and Charlotte Doyle is traveling from England to America. What happens when she is accused of murder and found guilty? This is her account of all that happened aboard the Seahawk. (DN)

Brent, Madeleine. Moonraker's Bride. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1973 - Lucy Waring is drawn into a world of intrigue by a puzzling riddle that links three families. Fate will bring her into the lives of these families, but will she survive? (DN)

Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 - After millions of threats Kenny's parents have finally decided to take his juvenile delinquent brother, Byron, to live with his grandmother in Alabama. During the family's visit to Birmingham they become victims of a horrifying act of racial violence. (DN)

Heneghan. Wish Me Luck. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1997 - Follow Jaime, a thirteen-year-old living in war ravaged England during World War II, as he lives through air raids and ultimately finds himself on a fated voyage to Canada that is supposed to keep him safe. (RS)

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997 - This journal of young Billie Jo is written in free verse poetry. In the midst of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl years beginning in 1934, Billie Jo must live with the loss of her Mother and baby brother in a tragic fire. Her grieving father is little support for her as she struggles to find normalcy in her life and tries to accept the burden of her own badly disfigured hands. (Winner of the Newbery Medal; ALA Best Book for Young Adults; School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.) (LC)

Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils. Chicago: Follet Publishing, 1964 - Told over five springtimes during the Civil War beginning in 1861. Young Jeth Creighton sees his brothers and mentor leave for duty in the Civil War, and witnesses the horrifying effects on the families left behind. Jeth must bear the burden of working the family's southern Illinois farm after his father suffers a heart attack. We witness the desperation and personal growth of Jeth through his understanding of the deeply complex issues surrounding the Civil War. (A Newbery Medal Honor Book.) (LC)

Hunt, Irene. No Promises in the Wind. Chicago: Follet Publishing, 1970 - 1932 is "not a good year" for Josh and his family in the slums of Chicago. His father is unemployed and resents his growing son, which leads to the decision to run away with his devoted younger brother and best friend. They are determined to look for work on their own. Riding the rails and hitchhiking across the country, the boys encounter the brutal realities of the Depression in urban and rural America. (LC)

Marshall, Catherine. Christy. New York: Avon Books, 1967 - In 1912, nineteen-year-old Christy Huddleston ventures into Cutter Gap, a poverty stricken area of the Great Smoky Mountains, to teach. Leaving behind the world as she knew it in Asheville, North Carolina, Christy must learn a whole new way of life with family feuds, staunch pride and feelings she can't explain. (RS)

Paterson, Katherine. Lyddie. Lodestar Books, 1991 - In 1843 Lyddie is the eldest daughter of a poor Vermont farm family. She must venture out on her own to help pay off her father's debt and goes from tavern work to the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts. Lyddie makes her way amidst fierce odds and terrible working conditions in the hopes of making enough money to reunite her family. She learns to read and shows incredible grit and determination through many bitter disappointments. (ALA Notable Book; School Library Journal Best Book of 1991; ALA Best Book for Young Adults.) (LC)

Paulsen, Gary. Sarny: A Life Remembered. New York: Delacorte Press, 1997 - This "companion to Nightjohn" stands on its own, following the life of the slave girl Sarny. Sarny recounts her story, beginning in the post-Civil War south where she must strike out with another former slave to find her stolen children. They end up in New Orleans where they find themselves in the fortunate employ of a wealthy light-skinned black woman, the "remarkable Miss Laura." She is reunited with her children, lives through the loss of two husbands through racial hatred, but finds the strength to go on to teach black children to read and lives into her 90's. (LC)

Smith, Betty. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Philadelphia: The Blackiston Company, 1943 - Francie Nolan comes from a long line of strong women and big dreamers. But will her strength and dreams be enough to pull her out of her life of poverty? (DN)

Taylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. New York: Puffin Books, 1976 - Cassie Logan, a young black girl in rural Mississippi during the Great Depression, and her brothers learn to deal with the harsh reality of segregation and hate in a fierce battle for her family to keep their land, freedom and some aspect of dignity. (RS)

Temple, Frances. The Ramsey Scallop. New York: Harper Collins, 1994 - It is 1300 and the Crusades have just ended. For Elenor and Thomas it is a time of despair, as their marriage day, long ago arranged, looms closer. In order to prolong the wedding they agree to go on a pilgrimage. Will their journey bring them closer or drive them further apart? (DN)

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This page last updated May 11, 2001
© 2001 Daphne Jorgensen. All Rights Reserved.