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Children's Fiction General

Dust Bowl, The

by (author) David Booth

illustrated by Karen Reczuch

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 1999
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1999
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1996
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

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.


David Booth's profile page

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.

Karen Reczuch's profile page


  • 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

Editorial Reviews

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

Other titles by Karen Reczuch