December 13, 2019

#BookReview: Someplace to Call Home by Sandra Dallas


Synopsis: In 1933, what's left of the Turner family--twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers--finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life. America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. 

Hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country have lost jobs. In rural America it isn't any better as crops suffer from the never-ending drought. Driven by severe economic hardship, thousands of people take to the road to seek whatever work they can find, often splintering fragile families in the process. 

As the Turner children move from town to town, searching for work and trying to cobble together the basic necessities of life, they are met with suspicion and hostility. They are viewed as outsiders in their own country. Will they ever find a place to call home? New York Times-bestselling author Sandra Dallas gives middle-grade readers a timely story of young people searching for a home and a better way of life.



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Biography


Prize-winning author Sandra Dallas was dubbed "a quintessential American voice" by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra's novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.

A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff member for twenty-five years (and the magazine's first female bureau chief,) she covered the Rocky Mountain region, writing about everything from penny-stock scandals to hard-rock mining, western energy development to contemporary polygamy. Many of her experiences have been incorporated into her novels.  

While a reporter, she began writing the first of ten nonfiction books. They include Sacred Paint, which won the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Western Heritage Wrangler Award, and The Quilt That Walked to Golden, recipient of the Independent Publishers Assn. Benjamin Franklin Award.

Turning to fiction in 1990, Sandra has published nine novels, including Whiter Than Snow, and the New York Times best seller Prayers for Sale. Sandra is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award for New Mercies, and two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award, for The Chili Queen and Tallgrass. In addition, she was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Assn. Award, and a four-time finalist for the Women Writing the West Willa Award.

The mother of two daughters--Dana is an attorney in New Orleans and Povy is a photographer in Golden, Colorado--Sandra lives in Denver with her husband, Bob.

Rating: ★★★★
My Review: This was a very interesting title to read and I really liked that it had a glossary at the back of the story.  I think this one would work great for a class setting that way we could read about the story and then talk about it.  I liked the characters and the pacing of the story.  I story rounded up really well and didn't leave anything hanging.  I think that I will check out more books by this author soon. 




Go Into This One Knowing: Great for classrooms







This narrative is full of fascinating details about flour-sack dresses and bean sandwiches. A story of the Great Depression that's both gritty and gratifying. --Kirkus Reviews

Despite the harshness of this time in history, Dallas's focus on the children serves as a gentle introduction to the Great Depression. As in all good historical fiction, the dialogue and setting are accurate and natural. The plot is intentional and evenly paced; nothing is trite or modernized. --School Library Journal

Honest and good children teach others the difference between squatters and helpers, and surrounding families demonstrate the real meaning of neighbors. Someplace to Call Home is a great read that is fun, poignant and encouraging, a call to the true meaning of home. --The Historical Novel Society









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