Posted in Graphic Novel

The Great American Dust Bowl, by Don Brown

16158179The Great American Dust Bowl
Don Brown
2013 Houghton Mifflin
ISBN – 9780547815503
Genre – Graphic Novel, Nonfiction
Age – High School, Middle School
4.5 Stars

It was a clear and sunny Sunday when an enormous dust storm picked up. Temperatures dropped, people and animals ran for their lives, but the story of the dust bowl started much earlier. The story of the 1930’s in the Great Plains of America is described in harrowing words, and intense imagery. This graphic novel tells the before, the during, and the after, the whole story. It simply tells what series of events led up to the tragedy and hardships that farmers in America experienced. It tells about life, loss, and great endurance. It also explains about how the president and the government helped to end the struggle.

The images, which are mainly in browns and yellows, really add to the feel of the story and the gravity of the events. Not only can you see the sheer size of the storms, but the fear, and exhaustion on the faces of the farmers and their families. The story is a fast read, but it not an easy one (emotionally.) It is great for reluctant readers who want to learn about the dust bowl or who have to complete a school assignment. The writing is clear, and paints a complete (although short) picture. I was surprised by how much I learned in this read/view.


2 thoughts on “The Great American Dust Bowl, by Don Brown

  1. I got to hear Don Brown talk about The Great American Dust at Boston Book Fest, on a panel about nonfiction graphic novels. It was really impressive, to hear about how much thought has to go into each image and word when they need to convey historical fact as well as a memorable atmosphere. I think the book does a great job bringing that time period to life, in a way which will stick in kids’ memories.

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