Karen Hesse Writing Styles in Out of the Dust

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Out of the Dust is told in first person from the point of view of Billie Jo. This seems the logical choice. Imagine having the story told from another point of view or in third person. It just doesn't fit. This story is Billie Jo's and hers alone to tell. That's because it is not just about the dust bowl and how a family lives through it. It is, indeed, the story of how the dust bowl affects her. It is her story of how Ma and Franklin's deaths affect her and how having her hands burned affects her. It is the story, after all, of how she finds the authentic spirit inside herself.

Another reason first person works for this story is that it is intended to be a novel for young readers. The main character is thirteen and fourteen in the book, and the...

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This section contains 761 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Out of the Dust Study Guide
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