Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
CHILDREN OF THE DUST BOWL
: THE TRUE STORY OF THE SCHOOL AT WEEDPATCH CAMP
New York : Crown, 1992.
IL 5-8, RL 6.5
"If the day looks kinder gloomy
An' the chances mighty slim;
If the situation's puzzlin',
An' the prospect awful grim,
An' perplexities keep pressin'
Till all hope is nearly gone
Just bristle up and grit your teeth,
An' keep on going on." (p.20)
This is part of a song from the 1930's; it is encouraging and courageous,
and the people who sang it had to be brave. They faced troubles that
are hard for us to imagine.
In the central part of the country at that time, there was a terrible drought.
Just a few drops of rain fell over about 5 years. The soil dried
up and turned to dust. Then the wind began to blow and things got
(Excerpt, pp. 6-7)
Nothing could be grown in that region. The farmers had to pack up
their families and move. They left hoping to find work in California,
where there was no drought. It was a long and dangerous trip which
took many families months to complete.
Once they arrived in California, the farmers were shocked to find that
they were not wanted there. Too many people had come looking for work.
There was not nearly enough to go around. Thousands of new arrivals lived
in their cars or in homemade tents. They were hungry and broke. Their children
The government stepped in and established camps where some of these people
could at least have clean water and a watertight tent. The people in the
camps were still not accepted by the community. Their children were teased
and unwelcome at school. They would gladly leave, but where could they
CHILDREN OF THE DUSTBOWL is the true story of what happened in one of these
camps when a man worked with the children there to start their own school.
It's an amazing tale that reminds us that people are capable of great things
when they work together. (Liz Hane, LJH79@aol.com,
of South Carolina Library School)