A Cup of Dust By Susie Finkbeiner

After watching a documentary on the Dust Bowl, I have become very interested in it. While nothing like what these individuals experienced, I remember growing up in East Texas as a child and the small dust storms there. I can recall the grit in our home and between my teeth. I haven’t forgotten the sting of the sand as it hit my legs. As an adult I experienced a dust storm here in Oklahoma, where the sky was darkened, and the air so thick I felt I would suffocate. These small events in my life have me in awe of what the people of this era dealt with, and not for a few days but for years. This book made me realize how incredibly courageous and resilient dust bowl families were.
Instead of this part of history being told through the eyes of an adult, the author does it through the eyes of 10 year old Pearl Spence. A child’s view is very simple, but it is also glaringly honest. Although Pearl does not understand everything she sees and experiences, her account is authentically candid.
So vivid are the descriptions of life in this Oklahoma town that I could feel the discouragement and desperation of the characters. Her mother’s constant battle to keep her home clean and maintain a normal family life was heartrending. It is clear the large role adult’s attitudes and actions play in how a child handles a crisis. Pearl’s grandmother, mother, and father were an anchor for her in this unsettled time.
I better understood the despair and fear of never knowing when another dust storm would strike or when the nightmare would end. The author was brilliant with the way she took amazing historical details, brought to life powerful characters, and then created a story filled with danger, mystery, and excitement. A fantastic read!

I received a copy of this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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