Out of the Dust By Karen Hesse


Billie Jo- Billie Jo is a 14 year old girl living during the Dust Bowl. She has a strong passion for playing the piano. When her mother dies, it forces Billie Jo to open up to her father, which is something that is hard for the both of them.

Ma- Billie Jo's mother taught her how to play the piano. Billie Jo has a different kind of passion for playing the piano. She wants her love of playing to take her away from the dust storms. This scares Billie Jo's mother. She doesn't want her to leave.

Daddy- Billie Jo's father is farmer during the Dust Bowl. This creates tension throughout the novel. Being a farmer during the 1930's was hard. Once Billie Jo's mother dies, her father being a farmer puts a strain on their relationship. Billie Jo wants to leave that kind of life and head West. However, her father's place is being a farmer. Karen Hesse shows how Billie Jo and her father manage to come together despite their differences.

Louise- Louise is a woman that Billie Jo's father meets at one of his night classes. Louise helps both Billie Jo and her father move one from the death of her mother and baby brother Franklin.