Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Day of the Black Blizzard (On My Own History)

The Day of the Black Blizzard (On My Own History)

Candice F. Ransom
Illustrator:  Laurie Harden 
Historical Fiction
For ages 7 to 9
Lerner, 2009   ISBN: 978-0822578956

When Orry Jenkins wakes up on Sunday April 14th, 1935, the sky is blue for a change. For weeks, Orry and his family have not been able to see the sun because it has “been hidden behind a cloud of dust.” Orry would like to go for a picnic with his mother, his stepfather, and his stepsister, but the car won’t start because too much dust has got into the engine. Instead, he and his stepsister Mildred go out looking for arrowheads.

The children wander some distance from the family farm and Orry gets annoyed when Mildred keeps asking to go home. If only he had a stepbrother instead of a little stepsister. Then a huge dust storm blows in. The children are far from home, and they will never be able to outrun the storm, so Orry finds a ditch for them to shelter in and he gets a piece of cardboard to hide under.

In this engaging story, Candice Ransom gives young readers a picture of what it must have been like to live on a farm in one of the Dust Bowl states during the mid 1930’s. In addition to the story, she provides her readers with further information about the Dust Bowl in the Author’s Note and the Afterword.