Out of the Dust By Karen Hesse

Out of the Dust Study Guide Answers

1. Billie Jo doesn't feel close to her father. She feels that their relationship is strained. Her father being a farmer makes life harder, because of the lack of money. Billie Jo feels that this strains their relationship.

2. Billie Jo is closer to her mother than to her father. Billie Jo has a lot in common with her mother. They both have a love of music and playing the piano that helps bond them.

3. Billie Jo wishes that she could be closer to her parents. At the beginning of the book, Billie Jo wishes that she could be closer to her mother. Later on in the book, she wishes that she could be closer to her father.

4. Billie Jo's love of the piano and music comes from her mother. Her mother taught her how to play and her love of music helps Billie Jo get through the death of her mother and baby brother.

5. Billie Jo's mother gets badly burned while making coffee one morning. Instead of water being in the pail, it was kerosene. Billie Jo's hands get badly burned, while her mother's entire body is badly burned. To make matters worse, her mother is 9 months pregnant with her baby brother.

6. Billie Jo's mother dies while giving birth to Franklin. Franklin survives for a few days but then sadly dies.

7. Franklin isn't named until after he dies. Billie Jo is the one who names Franklin after FDR, who was president at the time.

8. Billie Jo feels lost without her mother. Billie Jo mentions more than once that she and her father don't know how to talk to each other. Billie Jo makes the point of saying that her mother was the one going between her and her father. Now that she's gone, Billie Jo reall doesn't know how to talk to her father.

9. The irony of Franklin's death is that Billie Jo's father wanted a boy. Instead, Billie Jo was born. That's why her name is a boy's name. Franklin was finally the son that her father wanted and then he was taken away.

10. Billie Jo's father becomes more distant withe the deaths of his wife and son.

11. Billie Jo's relationship with her father becomes even more strained than before. The deaths are something that Billie Jo and her father don't talk about until the end of the book.

12. People don't openly treat Billie Jo differently. However, Billie Jo does hear people talking about her and the accident when they think they are out of ear shot. This bothers Billie Jo becasuse people blamed her for the accident, even though no one was completly at fault.

13. Billie Jo misses her mother playing the paino. She misses her mother being able to talk to her father for her.

14. Billie Jo talks about leaving Okalhoma several different times throughout the book. She believes that she doesn't have a future in Oklahoma, esp. if she were to get married to a farmer like her mother did.

15. Billie Jo still wants to leave, esp. after her mother's death. There is a lot of pain there for her. Everything reminds her of her mother. For Billie Jo, her mother was the key to talking to her father. With her mother not there, Billie Jo doesn't see the point of being there any more.

16. Billie Jo stops playing the piano after her mother's death.

17. Billie Jo stopes playing the piano because her mother was the one who taught her how to play. She also stops playing because it hurts her hands too much to play.

18. Billie Jo leaves because she believes that there is no future for her in Oklahoma. She wants to go West like everyone else. She believes her only future is elsewhere and not in Oklahoma.

19. Billie Jo comes back because she misses her father. She realizes that she has more in common with her father than she thought.

20. Billie Jo and her father slowly start to talk to each other. Billie Jo realizes that she can make a future with her father and in Oklahoma but only if she opens up to her father.

21. Billie Jo's father starts to go to night school.

22. He says that he's going to night school because he wants a back up plan in cause the farm fails.

23. Billie Jo believes that the real reason that her father is going to night school is to meet women there because he's lonely.

24. Billie Jo's father meets a woman there named Louise.

25. Billie Jo's father starts to date Louise.

26. At first Billie Jo is unhappy about her father dating someone else. She feels that he's betraying her mother by dating someone else. However, Billie Jo comes around to Louise and to the idea of Louise and her father dating.

27. Louise becomes like a mother figure to Billie Jo. She cooks and cleans and helps around the house.

28. Billie Jo feels that if Louise were to visit her mother's and brother's graves, it would be disrepsectful of her mother and brother.

29. Billie Jo's father feels that it would be fine if Louise were to visit the graves.

30. Billie Jo lets Louise in by letting her play the piano.