Last night I finished re-reading Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Our hard back copy at school was lost last year by a Year 6 student and I wondered if we should purchase a new copy. Then I discovered I had a copy of my own so I took the time to read this wonderful novel in free verse. I remembered my powerful reaction to this tragedy and so I took my time with this reading, not want to confront Billie Jo’s pain all in one go.
The link to all of this and my opening about quotations came as I completed my reading. Scholastic make these editions of classic children’s books with bonus features. I mentioned this in my review of The Book without words by Avi. In Out of the Dust there is a recipe for Apple Sauce, her Newberry acceptance speech – more on that later, an interview with Karen Hesse, some historical details about dust storms in Colorado and the depression and the struggles of farm life.
In the section “About the author” Karen Hesse talks about working in a library and here is her lovely quote :
“Working in a library – well, I loved that the way I love chocolate pudding. It was truly that good.”
I also found my self thinking of a lovely picture book Come on Rain with its lyrical language about rain and now I discover this special book is also by Karen Hesse. In Out of the Dust Hesse totally captures the feel of those long awaited rain drops.
It started out as snow
catching on my sweater
lacy on the edges of my sleeves
until at last it slipped into rain
light as mist
it was the kindest
kind of rain
soft then a little heavier
what had already fallen
into the hard –pan
steady as a good friend
who walks beside you
not getting in your way
staying with you through a hard time.
I am really glad I took the time to read this wonderful book once again and yes I will buy a new copy for my school library. As Hesse said in her Newberry speech “Reading historical fiction gives us perspective. It gives us respite from the tempest of our present-day lives. It gives us a safe place in which we can grow, transform, transcend. It helps us understand that sometimes the questions are too hard, that sometimes there are no answers, that sometimes there is only forgiveness.”
Here a couple of the quotation gems I have found :
One sure window into a person's soul is his reading list.
- Mary B. W. Tabor
I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking something up and finding something else on the way. - Franklin P. Adams
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends:
they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors,
and the most patient of teachers. -Charles W. Eliot
At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. -Barack Obama
I read because one life isn't enough. -Richard Peck
Knowledge is free at the library. Just bring your own container.
My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.
Pete Golkin, Arlington, Virginia
How amazing to find a quote about libraries by Barack Obama.
Remember to keep an eye on my Library Thing mentioned in my last blog.
Read only on the days you eat - seen in a school library in Canada and part of all my library communication - this is my slogan.
Read more about Out of the Dust.