Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 9
- Grade: k to 4
Looking out the farmhouse window, Matthew's grandfather tells him about the Big Dry of the 1930s, which turned golden wheat fields into a dust bowl. Fifty years later, another drought is upon them and, once again, this prairie family clings to the hope of seeing their land green. Evocative illustrations capture life on the prairies in this powerful story of one family's determination to hold on to its farm.
About the authors
David Booth was Professor Emeritus at OISE–University of Toronto, where he trained teachers to use innovative ways to promote literacy among children for more than 30 years. A prolific author and popular international speaker, David delighted thousands with his energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. Although David passed away in 2018, his dedication to literacy, and his superb body of work in the field, form a lasting legacy in Canadian education.
Karen Reczuch has illustrated many award-winning children’s books. Loon by Susan Vande Griek won the TD Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Picture Book Award and the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Information Book Award. Karen’s other publications include West Coast Wild, winner of the VCLR Information Book Award; The Auction by Jan Andrews, a Governor General’s Award finalist; Just Like New by Ainslie Manson, winner of the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award; and Salmon Creek, winner of the BC Book Prize. Karen’s work includes scientific, historical and archeological illustration, and has been exhibited internationally.
- Winner, Selected as Outstanding by Parent Council®
- Winner, Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council
- Commended, Ruth Schwartz Children’s Award
- Short-listed, Tiny Torgi Literary Award, CNIB Library for the Blind
- Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award
- Winner, IODE Book Award
Listening to his grandfather's stories about life on their Canadian farm during those years [the “Big Dry” of the 1930s], and watching his father toil for the land he loves, Matthew learns that determination has overcome hardship in the past and likely can again. Reczuch's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations have a matte finish that mimics a fine coating of dust.
School Library Journal
It is in the grandfather's voice that Booth's sharpest and most evocative writing comes through. Karen Reczuch's sun-bleached, dusty colors complement Booth's text perfectly, and she conjures up the modern-day and Depression-era farms - and the expanse of the Prairies - with equal ease.
Quill & Quire
Other titles by David Booth
What Is a "Good" Teacher?
Questions and answers that meet the needs of real teachers in K-12 classrooms
Exploding the Reading
Building a world of responses from one small story; 50 interactive strategies for increasing comprehension
Creating stories through role playing, improvising and reading aloud
Even Hockey Players Read
Boys, literacy, and learning
For building successful reading and writing
The Arts Go to School
Classroom-based activities that focus on music, painting, drama, movement, media, and more
Reading Doesn't Matter Anymore…
Shattering the myths of literacy
I've Got Something to Say
How student voices inform our teaching