Voices of the Dust Bowl
Beautifully illustrated throughout by artist Judith Hierstein.
The 1930s Dust Bowl was the greatest ecological tragedy in the United States. Through a combination of drought and fierce winds, America’s Great Plains were left bare. In a series of sixteen narrative profiles, the author brings to life the voices of this time period. The characters who symbolize common residents of the “Great American Desert,” include a teacher protecting her class from a black roller, a nurse treating patients with dust pneumonia, and a nine-year-old girl who has never seen rain.
Dated entries appear chronologically and depict outlaw Bonnie Parker and photographer Dorthea Lange, among other figures of the era. In the back of the book, a historical note gives a thorough overview of the Dust Bowl’s national impact on population growth, healthcare, and the government. A glossary explains terms such as Hooverville and Civilian Conservation Corps. An educational resource, this illustrated history conveys the full effect of this disastrous decade.
About the Author
The author of more than twenty-five books, Sherry Garland enjoys writing about history and interesting people. Her children’s historical picture books The Buffalo Soldier and Voices of the Alamo have garnered several honors including selection into the Accelerated Reader Program, a San Antonio Conservation Society citation, a Storytelling World Award, and a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People designation. Garland is also the author of Voices of Gettysburg and Best Horse on the Force. She lives in Bryan, Texas.
Review of Texas Books – 11/13/2013
The latest volume of Sherry Garland’s Voices Series – Voices of the Dust Bowl – gives readers a unique perspective from many different voices of the challenges faced by individuals from all walks of life during the very difficult period of American history in a picture story book format that is appropriate for younger as well as mature, adult readers.
With illustrations that clearly portray the fear, heartbreak, frustration, dismay, and finally relief of the characters profiled through Garland in the book, the reader gets a clear sense of how difficult life was during this devastating time.
At the end of the book, Garland provides readers with historical information as well as a glossary of terms, a selected biography appropriate for more mature readers as well as related books for younger readers.
The NorthWest Iowa Review – 03/19/2013
–Peter W. Wagner, The N’West Iowa Review
The pictures are beautiful and the prose is full of feelings
Jerry Turner, Mexia News – 08/15/2012
The 1930s Dust bowl was the greatest ecological tragedy ever put upon this country. Through a combination of drought and fierce winds, America’s Great plains were left bare. Voices of the Dust Bowl is a great book to get a feel for what the people may have felt and the problems they faced. The pictures are beautiful and the prose is full of feelings. It tells of a school teacher not having time to send her students home, so she soaked pieces of cloth in the water bucket to keep the dust out of the children’s faces.
If you have ever heard of the Dust Bowl or want to teach your children about this terrible tragedy, get a copy of this delightful book.
Jerry Turner, Special to The News
August 10, 2012
Personal, stirring, and dramatic
Hazel Rochman – 05/16/2012
With 16 stirring first-person narratives, Garland’s latest entry in her Voices of History series personalizes what she calls the largest environmental catastrophe in American history. Each double-page spread pairs a profile that dramatizes how the disaster affected daily lives, with a large, unframed illustration that shows individuals close up against the background of the devastated land. In the first spread, a Native American in Oklahoma in 1893 sees the buffalo gone, his people “dwindling to a few.”
Later spreads show desperate migrant cotton pickers in the Texas Panhandle; an “ornery old cowpoker” looking at the barren land; children coughing in the dust storms; and a family heading west, all their household goods strapped to the roof of their car. A good title for pairing with the curriculum, this includes a bibliography, and a long historical note adds an overview about the dust bowl’s social history, geology, conservation, and more.