Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on October 8th 2013
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 80 pages
Buy on Amazon
A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence.
On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster—a savage storm—on America's high southern plains.
The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow—people got lost in the gloom and suffocated . . . and that was just the beginning.
Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America's most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl.
The Great American Dust Bowl is a graphic novel that brings the Dust Bowl to life through fantastic graphics. I picked this one up at the library based on the cover alone, and was not surprised to find it already getting quite a lot of praise from librarians everywhere. The cover itself has such a impacting image of what the Dust Bowl looked like in the dirty 30s.
Giving a lot of information throughout the book, it makes it an ideal in graphic nonfiction. I didn’t feel stifled by the information, rather it tied in so well with the images that you really could not tell you were learning so much. The artwork fits so well with the information that it flowed from page to page and stunned me, who already knew of the background of this story.
The Great American Dust Bowl would be a great introduction to the Dust Bowl and to give more emphasis on the disaster it was during that time period. I would love to see teachers using this to introduce a unit or to help struggling readers get a further grasp of the era. Don Brown is a genius when it comes to writing great nonfiction for children and this graphic novel is a moving example of how interesting nonfiction can be.